O dia em que Vargas Llosa deu um soco em García Márquez
Mario Vargas Llosa
To me, however, Mr. Mario Vargas Llosa will always be known as the man who punched Gabriel García Márquez. They were once close friends, but had a violent falling out for some unknown reasons — something to do with Garcia Marquez’s close friendship with Vargas Llosa’s wife — in 1976. That year, in Mexico City, at the premiere for Supervivientes de los Andes (a movie about the Uruguayan rugby team that ate human flesh to survive after their plane crash) as García Márquez approached Mr. Vargas Llosa to embrace him, the Peruvian writer instead punched him in the face. García Márquez’s black eye was captured a few days later in the iconic photograph above by Rodrigo Moya. (Moya kept the photos to himself for thirty-one years, and published them only in 2007).
© Rodrigo Moya
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To accompany the photograph La Jornada asked Mr. Moya to write an essay, said Pablo Espinosa, the newspaper’s culture news editor, because while “this story was very familiar to everybody, not everybody knew the particulars.”
In his essay Mr. Moya sets the scene: a Mexico City movie theater packed with people attending the premiere of a film about the plane crash survivors in the Andes who turned to cannibalism.
At one point Mr. Vargas Llosa rushes up to Mr. García Márquez, who innocently tries to embrace him. Instead Mr. Vargas Llosa decks him, Mr. García Márquez’s blood gushing everywhere.
Some had surmised that the fight may have been over politics, since Mr. García Márquez has always been on the left and Mr. Vargas Llosa at the time had begun to migrate to the right. (He later made an unsuccessful attempt to run for president of Peru in 1990 as a free marketeer.) But, as Mr. Moya explains, the cause was a woman, specifically, Mr. Vargas Llosa’s wife, whom Mr. García Márquez consoled during a difficult period in the marriage.