THE NOTEBOOKS OF DON RIGOBERTO - Rare Fine Copy of The First British Edition/First Printing: Signed by Mario Vargas Llosa
1st Printing. Signed. 260 pages. Published in 1998. The author's twelfth novel. Now considered a late-modern classic. The first appearance of the title in the United Kingdom. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Mario Vargas Llosa's "The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto" in a felicitous English translation. The sequel to "In Praise of The Stepmother". It is another heartfelt homage to the erotic novel and to Gustave Flaubert. For Vargas Llosa, erotic power is the one Good Side of the very bad side of life called power, his lifelong subject. The novel is one of several homages to Flaubert as master stylist of language and as sensualist, which began with "The Perpetual Orgy" (1975) and culminated with "The Bad Girl" (2007), his "remake" of "Madame Bovary". Mario Vargas Llosa is the writer/intellectual/philosopher par excellence among the Latin-American geniuses of the so-called Boom: He refuses to be categorized, labeled, and reduced by ideology, whether it is Fascist conservatism, political correctness, or Leftist academicism, what he has condemned as "authoritarianism of the Left and the Right". He considers himself an heir to the great European cultural tradition yet his work is firmly grounded in Latin America's (not just his native Peru's) history and mythology. His aesthetics and literary practice - Vargas Llosa has embraced and appropriated every literary genre - prompted Roberto Bolano, his greatest successor, to consider him an inescapable influence, among a handful of others, on contemporary Latin-American literature. That is to say, to be a Latin-American writer is to become a Classical master of language and a Modernist artist, writing in language of the highest quality and reinventing literary form and convention at the same time. Literary genres are inventions of a particular culture's idea of imagination and storytelling, "templates" that Vargas Llosa transforms into "poetic tales" (in Harold Bloom's brilliant phrase). "He has helped evolve the art of the narration" (Nobel Prize Committee). "Literature shouldn't be secluded, provincial, or regional. It should be universal even if it has deep roots in one place" (Mario Vargas Llosa). An absolute "must-have" title for Mario Vargas Llosa collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Mario Vargas Llosa. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First British Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Among "Boom" writers, Mario Vargas Llosa has been grossly under-valued for the longest time even though he rarely does public signings. The collectible value of his books will not only keep but keep going up. A rare signed copy thus. Winner of the Cervantes Prize, awarded to the greatest living writers in Spanish by the Spanish Government, in 1994. Winner of the Jerusalem Prize in 1995. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. One of the greatest writers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0571193099. Bookseller Inventory # 15920
About this title:
Review: "It is not the world of cunning cattle that you and I are part of which interests me and brings me joy or suffering, but the myriad of beings animated by imagination, desire and artistic skill, the beings present in the paintings, books, and prints that I have collected with the patience and love of many years."
Near the beginning of The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto, the title character writes these words to the architect designing his new home, thus setting the theme for this slightly fantastical, wholly erotic novel that celebrates the ascendancy of imagination over real life. Readers familiar with Vargas Llosa's work will recognize Don Rigoberto from the earlier In Praise of the Stepmother, in which the author first introduced the middle-aged insurance executive, his beautiful second wife, Lucrecia, and his preternaturally sensual son, Alfonsito. In that book, the pubescent "Fonsito" manages to seduce his stepmother and then writes an essay about the experience that he lets his father read. The novel ends with Lucrecia's expulsion from the household and the revelation that Fonsito had orchestrated the whole thing from the beginning for reasons of his own. Now, in The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto Vargas Llosa picks up where he left off, with Alfonsito's reappearance on the doorstep of Lucrecia's new home. Once again, this "Beelzebub, a viper with the face of an angel" has a hidden agenda--this time, apparently, to reunite his father and stepmother.
As in its predecessor, The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto filters erotic passions and desires through art and artifice; Alfonsito uses the life and work of painter Egon Schiele to seduce his stepmother's imagination if not her body; Don Rigoberto and Lucrecia fan the flames of sexual passion through elaborate fantasies that they present as reality. It is almost as if no act, thought, or feeling can be real unless it has first existed in the imagination; even as Rigoberto and Lucrecia make love on their first night back together he informs her that, in his notebooks, she "'has gone to bed with many people all year.' 'I want details,' Dona Lucrecia gasp[s], speaking with difficulty. 'All of them, even the tiniest. What I did, what I ate, what was done to me.'"
The novel is the literary equivalent of matryoshki, those nests of dolls within dolls that Russian toymakers made to enthrall young children. Egon Schiele's life story, Lucrecia's erotic encounters, Rigoberto's notebooks, the 20 anonymous letters that reunite Rigoberto and his wife--all unfold, stories within stories and fantasies within fiction, until Vargas Llosa arrives, at last, at his happy ending, with a twist. The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto is erotic without being graphic, so fantastical that even the seduction of a 40-year-old matron by a pubescent boy reads more like myth (think Cupid and Psyche) than today's headlines. Vargas Llosa's cool, wry prose helps to elevate the hijinks above the merely prurient, making this fable of love, art, and manipulation a pleasure without guilt. --Alix Wilber
Title: THE NOTEBOOKS OF DON RIGOBERTO - Rare Fine ...
Publisher: London, England: Faber & Faber, 1998
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
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