An unusual scene was filmed at Bogota’s International Book Fair when Peruvian writer and Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa was interrupted during his talk by a disenchanted reader, local media reported.
The incident occurred when Vargas Llosa was aggressively questioned about his political convictions by an unknown member of the audience during the writer’s participation in an open discussion at the fair, El Tiempo newspaper reported.
During the discussion regarding his writing methods and relationship to literature, a man in the audience rose from his seat and interrupted the dialogue between Vargas Llosa and Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vasquez by shouting “You joined Alvaro Uribe to conspire against the revolution,” the unidentified man said referring to former right-wing Colombian President.
Vargas Llosa remarked that the audience member “Looks like a character out of ‘History of Mayta,” referring to a political novel he wrote in 1984 that chronicles a failed revolutionary attempt in Peru .
According to RT news, the man became visibly enraged and began to viciously tear pages from a book written by the Nobel Laureate, an action met by disapproval from the other members of the audience.
“It all starts by tearing up books and ends up by killing people,” responded the Peruvian writer.
Vargas Llosa, who has been highly critical of leftist governments in Latin America, leads the Peruvian delegation as the guest country of this year’s International Book Festival in the Colombian Capital.
According to El Tiempo, the writer light heartedly addressed the situation and said to the man, “I sincerely thank you, you do not know how boring these talks can be.”
He then said that the pollution of everyday life gives content to the literature and people like the angry reader who questioned him “are the fundamental provocateurs behind great literary adventures. Sir thank you. I wish you a long life!”
Unfortunately, by this point security had already removed the man from the lecture theatre.
“Shout, shine, destroy my books. It’s great that this country is so full of life,” concluded Llosa before returning to the original conversation.
Running from 29 April to the 12 May, the event features 61 writers from various genres of literature, as well as art, music and cuisine.