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14/03/2003

Vargas Llosa to close the ´Encounters with the Cathedral´

14/03/2003 Invitations to the talk on 11 april can be collected from the Visitors´ Centre located in Plaza de las Brullerías.

14/03/2003 The writer Mario Vargas Llosa has been invited by the Santa María Cathedral Foundation to give a talk in Vitoria-Gasteiz on Friday 11 April. This event, which will be held in the Main Theatre at 20.00, will close the cycle of literary meetings entitled ´Encounters with the Cathedral´. The Peruvian writer has chosen to visit the Old Cathedral as the setting for the presentation of his latest novel, entitled: El Paraíso en la otra esquina. His promotional plan includes only three other cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.

The presence of Vargas Llosa is the jewel in the crown of an extremely high-quality cultural offer. Over recent months, the Santa María Cathedral Foundation has brought together a number of prestigious international writers including Ken Follett, Rosa Regás, Julio Llamazares and Alfredo Bryce Echenique. The ´Encounters with the Cathedral´ cycle also included religious music concerts, film screenings, short story and open air painting competitions and radio programmes in collaboration with Radio Nacional de España and Radio Euskadi.

These activities have been greeted with enthusiasm by the public and have made a significant contribution to the efforts of the Santa María Cathedral Foundation and the Alava government to turn Vitoria-Gasteiz into a focal point for the recovery of cultural heritage. The Foundation would like to thank Vargas Llosa for his decision to present his new novel within the context of the ´Encounters with the Cathedral´ literary meetings. His talk will focus mainly on this new novel, although it will also contain references to the world of cathedrals within the literary context.

If you wish to attend this talk by Vargas Llosa, you will need to collect an invitation from the Visitors´ Centre in Plaza de las Brullerías, next to the Old Cathedral building. Invitations will be available from Saturday 15th of this month, from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00.

Vargas Llosa is acclaimed as one of the world´s greatest contemporary novelists. Among many other prestigious awards, he has received the following prizes for literature written in the Spanish language: the Rómulo Gallegos Award (1967) for his novel La casa verde; the Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras Award (1986), shared with Rafael Lapesa el Planeta (1993), for the novel Lituma en los Andes and the Cervantes Prize (1994).

Vargas Llosa assumed Spanish nationality in 1993 and has been a member of the Royal Spanish Language Academy since 1996, after giving a talk on Azorín. His latest novel, El Paraíso en la otra esquina is based on the story of the Franco-Peruvian feminist Flora Tristán and her grandson, the French painter Paul Gauguin.

In light of the interest aroused by Vargas Llosa´s visit, the Santa María Cathedral Foundation, in collaboration with the Vitoria-Gasteiz Local Council has decided to hold the talk in the Main Theatre. Since the visit was first announced, hundreds of people have requested further information, a circumstance which has led the organisers to decide to hold the event in a larger venue, similarly to in the case of Bryce Echenique.

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