Peruvian Novelist Mario Vargas Llosa has became the first ever Nobel Prize winner to cry at the podium; the author broke into tears towards the end of his prize acceptance speech at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm.
The speech was so eloquent and tenderly penned, that the emotional delivery forced tears out of most audience members, the writer’s editor cried, his family cried, even Vargas-Llosa’s Swedish translator cried.
The speech covered politics, his thoughts about nationalism, his evolution from Marxism to liberal democracy, his disappointment with the Cuban Revolution, his love for Perú and his attempt to become its president. He spoke of his childhood, literature and the writers that influenced him and spoke beautifully written praises, thanks and anecdotes that were far more open, frank and full of sentiment than what is the norm for the usually reserved Vargas Llosa.
The whole speech in Spanish is available here, but if you don’t speak Spanish, we’ve translated the bit that is at the beginning of the second video; the moment when the author started crying as he spoke about his wife, who at the time was allegedly very upset with him, being as he showed drafts of his speech to his sons, but refused to show anything to her.
“Perú is Patricia, the cousin with the straight little nose and the indomitable temper who i had the fortune to marry 45 years ago and that still to this day bears the manias, neuroses and tantrums that help me write. Without her my life would have dissolved long time ago in a chaotic whirlwind and Álvaro, Gonzalo and Morgana wouldn’t have been born, nor the six grandchildren who prolong and make our existence happy. She does it all, and all she does well. Solves all problems, manages the economy, makes order in the chaos, keeps journalists and intruders in line, defends my time, decides appointments and trips, does and undoes the luggage and is so generous, that even when she thinks she’s scolding me, she’s paying me the best of compliments: “Mario, the only thing you’re good for, is for writing.”