NEW YORK — Mario Vargas Llosa may be a Nobel laureate, but he says he has tried to write erotic novels “without the same success” as EL James, who wrote the best-selling “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy.
The Peruvian writer, who spoke at the Americas Society, said he was surprised to see “Fifty Shades” books at the window displays of bookstores in Ireland, where he presented his lastest novel “The Dream of Celt” in June. James’ erotic novels are currently bestsellers in Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Chile and Colombia, among other Spanish-speaking countries.
“I have not read it”, Vargas Llosa said with a smile, answering a question about the trilogy. “I hope it’s fun”.
When asked if he would ever write an erotic novel, Vargas Llosa replied: “I have tried to do it but without the same success”.
“When a novel is focused only on the sexual experience, it can be monotonous, repetitive, it can become a tedious experience,” Vargas Llosa said. “However the sexual component can’t be excluded from a great novel, as well as eroticism. It is very difficult to exclude sex because sex is a very important part of human life. Eroticism is the expression of civilization while sex is brutal, is something animal.”
Vargas Llosa, author of “The City and the Dogs” or “The Feast of the Goat,” was in New York to talk about “The Dream of the Celt,” with translator Edith Grossman. The author also remembered the recent 50th anniversary of the “Latin American boom” literary movement from the 1960s that brought him to prominence along with Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes.
“It meant solidarity, a feeling to belonging to a community, and a connection between Latin America and Spain. It was a very rewarding experience”, Vargas Llosa said.