‘Literature creates a fraternity within human diversity and eclipses the frontiers erected among men and women by ignorance, ideologies, religions, languages, and stupidity. ‘

In his Nobel lecture, Mario Vargas Llosa describes reading and fiction as a parallel life where we can take refuge against adversity. He claims that we invent fictions in order to live somehow the many lives we would like to lead when we barely have one at our disposal.

Giving praise to the writers who helped his younger self to be transported to worlds beyond his own and enrich his life, he describes how learning to read at the age of five in Cochabamba, Bolivia, was the most important thing that ever happened to him. Without fictions, he suggests, we would be less aware of the importance of freedom for life to be livable, and that reading is the most effective way we have found to alleviate our mortal condition and to transform the impossible into possibility.

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