- Argentine literature
Argentine literature is among the most important national literatures written in the
Spanish language. World-famous Argentine writers include José Hernández, Roberto Arlt, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Manuel Puig, Juan José Saerand Ernesto Sábato. Like other aspects of the Argentine culture, literature in Argentinahas been subject to heavy European influence, especially from Spainand France.
Argentine literature began around 1550 with the work of Matías Rojas de Oquendo and Pedro González de Prado (from
Santiago del Estero, the first important urban settlement in Argentina), who wrote proseand poetry. They were partly inspired by oral aboriginal poetry--in particular, according to Carlos Abregú Virreyra, by the "lules", "juríes", " diaguitas" and "tonocotés". A symbiosisemerged between the aboriginal and Spanish traditions, creating a distinct literature, geographically limited (well into the 18th century) to the Argentine north and central regions, with the province of Córdoba as its center. Two names stand out from this period: Gaspar Juárez Baviano, and Antonia de la Paz y Figueroa, also known as "Beata Antula".
Gradually, with the economic prosperity of the port, the cultural axis moved eastward. The letters of the colonial age (Viceroyalty-
neoclassicism, baroqueand epic) grew under the protection of the independentist fervor: Vicente López y Planes, Pantaleón Rivarola and Esteban de Luca.
Cultural independence from Spain
Argentina's break with Spanish tradition, in favor of the French
romanticismpostulating the return to popular sources and to the medieval, allowed Esteban Echeverríato write the first local and realistic story, "El Matadero" ("The slaughterhouse"), as well as the poem "La Cautiva" ("The Captive"), with the Pampasas its stage. His barbed wit and opposition to powerful Buenos Aires governor Juan Manuel de Rosasforced him into exile. In the middle of the 19th century, José Mármolpublished the first Argentine novel, "Amalia". Poetry lessened in combative spirit and turned towards the anecdotal and sentimental: Carlos Guido y Spano and Ricardo Gutiérrez, the chronicle writers of folk literature; Vicente Fidel López, Lucio V. Mansilla and Juana Manuela Gorriti; and the historical ones: Bartolomé Mitreand Domingo F. Sarmiento.
Generation of 1880
The generation of 1880 emphasized the
European color and cultural supremacy of Buenos Aires. The migratory current of mixed ethnicity accentuated the change of the "big village" for the "cosmopolitan metropolis". The poetry of this period is lyric: Leopoldo Díaz y Almafuerte. Essayis a recent genre that developed in the late 19th century: José Manuel Estrada, Pedro Goyena and Joaquín V. González. Narrative works oscillated between social issues and folk literature: Miguel Cané, Eugenio Cambaceres, Julián Martel y Carlos María Ocantos.
While European-oriented, indeed Euro-centric, themes and styles would remain the norm in Argentine letters, especially from Buenos Aires, a picturesque, imitation-
gaucholiterature, purporting to use the language of the gauchos and to reflect their mentality, arose in the 1880s as a part of that generation's understanding of national identity. The three great figures in this trend, José Hernández, Estanislao del Campo, and Hilario Ascasubi, immediately became, and have remained, among the most popular figures of a unique genre in Argentine and Uruguayan literature, the "gauchesco" or "gauchoesque" style.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, led by the
Nicaraguan Rubén Darío, modernismappears in Latin American literature. Preciosity of manner and a strong influence from symbolismsum up the new genre, which inspires the clearest voice in poetry, Leopoldo Lugones, who was the author of the first Argentine science fictionstory. The first truly modern generation in Argentine literature is the Martinfierristas (c. 1922). The movement contributes an intellectual doctrine in which a number of current trends come together: the trend represented by the Florida group, adscript to ultraísmo, with Oliverio Girondo, Jorge Luis Borges, Leopoldo Marechaland Macedonio Fernández; and the trend of Boedo, impressed by Russian realism, with Raúl González Tuñón, César Tiempo y Elías Catelnuovo. Ricardo Güiraldes, however, remains classical in style, giving a whole new freshness to "gauchesca" poetry and writing what is perhaps the novel, " Don Segundo Sombra". Benito Lynch(1885-1951), an eccentric short-story writer who, like Güiraldes, does not easily fit into any "generation", wrote his quirky tales in an enchanted new-"gauchoesque" manner about this time. Between the end of this decade and the beginning of the following one emerged the "Novísimos" ("Newest"), a generation of poets (Arturo Cambours Ocampo, Carlos Carlino and José Portogalo), fiction writers (Arturo Cerretani, Roberto Arlt, Luis Maria Albamonte and Luis Horacio Velázquez) and playwrights (Roberto Valenti, Juan Oscar Ponferrada and Javier Villafañe). The group promoted philosophical reflection and a new essence for "Argentinidad". Leopoldo Marechal's novel Adán Buenosayres, published in 1948 and praised by Julio Cortázarin 1949.
Also worthy of note is the literary work of
Leonardo Castellani(1899-1981), a Jesuit priest who left a considerable bulk of essays, novels, tales and poetry. Expelled from the Company of Jesus, the outspoken Castellani was also widely ignored - like his contemporary Marechal - by the literary "intelligentsia" of his time due to his nationalist ideology.
Generation of '37
The "Generation of 1937" centers on poetry, where it developed the descriptive, nostalgic and meditative in the work of
Ricardo E. Molinari, Vicente Barbieri, Olga Orozco, León Benarós and Alfonso Sola Gonzáles. Fiction writers subscribed to idealismand magic realism, (María Granata, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Julio Cortázar) or to a subtler form of realism Manuel Mujica Laínez, Ernesto L. Castro, Ernesto Sábatoand Abelardo Arias) with some urban touches, as well as folk literature (Joaquín Gómez Bas and Roger Plá).
Essayists do not abound: Antonio Pagés Larraya, Emilio Carilla, Luis Soler Cañas are some of the few exceptions; but, of course, the greatest Argentine essayist after Sarmiento,
Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, belonged to the Generation of '37. Many of these writers and a number of European ones contributed extensively to " Sur", a literary journal published by Victoria Ocampo, a noted commentator on the day's culture.
Neohumanism, Existentialism and other influences
In 1950, another milestone arose: the
New Humanism, a response to World War IIand its aftermath. On one level are avant-gardists like Raúl Gustavo Aguirre, Edgar Bayley and Julio Llinás; on another, existentialists: José Isaacson, Julio Arístides and Miguel Ángel Viola. Further away are those who reconcile both tendencies with a regionalist tendency: Alfredo Veiravé, Jaime Dávalos and Alejandro Nicotra. Other fiction writers left a highly charged testimony of the times: Beatriz Guido, David Viñas, Marco Deneviand Silvina Bullrich. In a majority of the writers, a strong influence of Anglo-Saxon and Italian poetrycan be perceived. Of particular interest are the poetic works of two of Marechal's disciples, the poets Rafael Squirruand Fernando Demaría.
A new trend started in 1960, continuing until about 1990. Its influences are heterogeneous: Sartre, Camus, Eluard; some Spanish writers, like Camilo José Cela; and previous Argentine writers like Borges, Arlt, Cortázar and Marechal. Two trends were in evidence: the tracing of metaphysical time and
historicity(Horacio Salas, Alejandra Pizarnik, Ramón Plaza) and the examination of urban and social disarray: ( Abelardo Castillo, Marta Lynch, Manuel Puig, Alicia Steinberg).
Dark military days
The 1970s are a dark period for intellectual creation in Argentina. The sign of the epoch is
exile( Juan Gelman, Antonio Di Benedetto) or death (Roberto Santoro, Haroldo Conti, and Rodolfo Walsh). Remaining literary journalists, like Liliana Heker, veiled their opinions in their work. Some journalists ( Rodolfo Walsh), poets (Agustín Tavitián and Antonio Aliberti), fiction writers ( Osvaldo Soriano, Fernando Sorrentino), and essayists (Ricardo Herrera, María Rosa Lojo) stand out among the vicissitudes and renew the field of ethical and aesthetic ideas.
The 1990s are marked by reunion among survivors of different generations, in an intellectual coalition for the review of values and texts as Argentina faced the end of the century.
Che Guevarawas an Argentine, born in Rosario. Besides his armed struggles and political involvement with Fidel Castro's government in Cuba, he wrote " The Motorcycle Diaries", about his travels around Argentina and South America, which was recently made into a movie.
Latin American Boom
Latin American literature
Latin American poetry
* [http://www.surdelsur.com/identidad/qletr.htm Historia de la Literatura Argentina] (Spanish)
* [http://members.tripod.com.ar/republica_argentina/literatura.htm Literatura Argentina] (Spanish)
* [http://www.todo-argentina.net/Literatura_argentina/la_generacion_del_37.htm Generaciön del 37] (Spanish)
* [http://www.idelberavelar.com/archives/2005/04/literatura_arge.php Biblioteca básica de literatura argentina]
* [http://www.escaner.cl/escaner76/acorreo.html Scanner cultural]
* [http://didattica.spbo.unibo.it/pais/bonaldi/ipertesto/literatura.html La inmigración en la Literatura Argentina] (Spanish)
* [http://www.navego.com.ar/biografias/historia_arg/origenes_literatura_arg.html Orígenes de la Literatura Argentina] (Spanish)
* [http://www.asterionxxi.com.ar/numero7/dossierjuanele.htm Dossier Juan L. Ortiz]
* [http://www.argentina.ar/sw_contenido.php?id=180&idioma_sel=en Argentine Literature in Argentina.ar] (English)
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