Winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, Mario Vargas Llosa delivered his Nobel lecture this past Tuesday.
The Guardian reported that:
Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa delivered a resounding tribute to fiction’s power to inspire readers to greater ambition, to dissent and to political action…
Among other things, Mr. Vargas Llosa addressed the issue of censorship in his speech:
We invent fictions in order to live somehow the many lives we would like to lead when we barely have one at our disposal. Without fictions we would be less aware of the importance of freedom for life to be livable, the hell it turns into when it is trampled underfoot by a tyrant, an ideology, or a religion. Let those who doubt that literature not only submerges us in the dream of beauty and happiness but alerts us to every kind of oppression, ask themselves why all regimes determined to control the behavior of citizens from cradle to grave fear it so much they establish systems of censorship to repress it and keep so wary an eye on independent writers. They do this because they know the risk of allowing the imagination to wander free in books, know how seditious fictions become when the reader compares the freedom that makes them possible and is exercised in them with the obscurantism and fear lying in wait in the real world.