Too many good characters and Not enough time with them


Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Mario Vargas LLosa

The problem with Mario Vargas Llosa‘s Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is that there are so many good characters that he uses for too short a time. Llosa’s novel is about a young writer (not yet published) who falls in love with his Aunt (not related by blood) and befriends the cranky scriptwriter. The book takes place in the sixties, when serial radio had reached its zenith in Peru. The narrator and would be writer has “a job with a pompous-sounding title, a modest salary, duties as a plagiarist, and flexible working hours: News Director of Radio Panamerica. It consisted of cutting out interesting news items that appeared in the daily papers and rewriting them slightly so that they could be read on the air during the newscasts.” (3) His Aunt Julia was recently divorced and moves to Peru to escape the stigma of being divorced. “Pedro Camacho. A Bolivian and an artist: a friend” is recently hired at the station and trusts only the lowly narrator as a confidant. (17) Continue reading →