Article

Argentinian Literature

Graciela Montaldo

in Latin American Studies

ISBN: 9780199766581
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0003
Argentinian Literature

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This entry is focused on Argentinean literature. Because of its historical context, Argentinean literature is more than poetry, fictions, or experimentations with writing; it is a political practice that involves writers, intellectuals, audiences, and the culture industry. Although Spanish is the main language there are some works that take part of the Argentinean corpus and use other languages (French, Poland, English, Yiddish mainly). In just two centuries of existence (the Argentinean Republic was created in 1810, after the independence from the Spanish Empire) this literature has built a strong tradition, which it uses to rewrite itself. Most of the intellectual generations in Argentina discussed and polemicized their antecessor and tradition. Narratives on national identity played a key role in Argentinian history alongside with innovations. Authors came back to the past to rewrite and reinterpret the master narratives. “Civilization and barbarism,” for instance, was a successful motto that Domingo F. Samiento established in 1845. In spite of the different interpretation of the terms, it was and it is a way of read Argentinian reality. When someone uses it, the motto is charged with all its history. Since the beginning, it has been not just an elite practice with a sophisticated and Eurocentric tradition but also a practice that involves a native and noncanonical set of knowledge and forms.

Article.  14205 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies ; History of the Americas

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