Writer Mario Vargas Llosa, a renowned voice in Latin American literature, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for his cartography of the structures of power and his scathing images on resistance, uprisings, and individual defeat.” The author of such works as “La ciudad y los perros,” “Conversacion en La Catedral” or “La Fiesta del Chivo,” has stated he feels “very moved and excited” about the award. Pilar Reyes, Alfaguara’s director, said that “today, the Spanish language is having a party.”
ABOUT THE WORK: On November 3rd, four years after Vargas Llosa’s last bestselling novel, “Travesuras de la nina mala” (The Bad Girl), Editorial Alfaguara will publish “El sueno del celta” with an initial run of 500,000 books. This newest work is based on the life of Irish patriot and revolutionary, Roger Casement, one of the first Europeans who had a clear understanding of Colonialism. Casement accurately documented the abuses and human rights violations committed by European governments.
“El sueno del celta” recounts an eventful journey that starts in the Congo in 1903 and ends in a London jail, one morning in 1916. Here is the story of the vicissitudes of a legend: Irishman Roger Casement. Hero and villain, traitor and liberator, moral and immoral, his multifaceted figure dies out and is reborn after his death. Casement was one of the first Europeans to denounce the horrors of Colonialism with sound arguments. From his trips to the Congo and the Amazonian region of Peru two memorable reports survived whose revelations shook the society of the time. These reports exposed a painful truth: it wasn’t the savagery of the inhabitants of the Congo or the Amazonia that turned civilized Europeans into barbarians; it was the latter who, in the name of commerce, civilization and Christianity, committed the most barbarous acts.
What he witnessed during these two trips changed Casement forever and led him to embark on a different journey, this time intellectual, which was just as—or even more so—devastating. This journey took him to confront an England he admired and become an active militant for the Irish Nationalist cause. In the middle of World War I he traveled to Berlin to conspire against the United Kingdom and in 1916 he participated in the Easter Rising, the act that finally led to his imprisonment.