A Cultural History of Latin America: Literature, Music and by Leslie Bethell

By Leslie Bethell

A Cultural background of Latin the US brings jointly chapters from Volumes III, IV, and X of The Cambridge background of Latin the US. The essays position Latin American literature, song and visible arts in historic context, from the early 19th century in the course of the overdue 20th century. issues comprise narrative fiction and poetry; indigenous literatures and tradition; the advance of song, sculpture, portray, mural paintings, and structure; and the heritage of Latin American movie. every one bankruptcy is followed through a bibliographical essay.

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He had also led the life of a gaucho, and in 1882 he published a knowledgeable Instruction al estantiero. He was for much of the time at odds with post-Rosas Argentina, not least during the presidency of Sarmiento. His poem, Martin Fierro, is a popular epic with an individual voice, one of the greatest achievements of romantic poetry in Spanish. Like Don Quixote, it manages to evoke the landscapes in which it is set without actually needing to describe them. Hernandez is so closely attuned to gaucho culture that the reader is persuaded by the picturesque dialect he invents for his narrative, even though, as Borges has remarked, no gaucho ever spoke as Martin Fierro does.

Most astonishing of all is Sarmiento's certainty: he really seems to know that the future belongs to him (Rosas's downfall is accurately predicted in the text), and is palpably talking about a material world over which he intends to take power. At the same time, there is nothing aristocratic about him: he uses the concept of civilization as a club with which to beat 34 Literature, music and visual arts, c. 1820—1870 his enemies, not as a fan to waft away the unpleasant smell of the masses. His works have none of the abstract distance with which writers like Martinez Estrada, Mallea or Murena would gaze on that same territory a hundred years later.

Many of the writers who had opposed Rosas would gain power after his demise, above all Mitre himself (president, 1862-8) and Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (president, 1868-74). Sarmiento's ideological adversary, Alberdi, the 'citizen of solitude', as Rojas Paz called him in a celebrated biography, never attained real power but his Bases were nevertheless instrumental in the elaboration of the 1853 Constitution. As we have seen, the exiled Argentine rebels took refuge mainly in Montevideo, until Rosas besieged it, and then in Santiago de Chile.

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