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Beatriz Sarlo on Martin Fierro

A Book with Two Faces

"It's been said many times what EL GAUCHO MARTIN FIERRO represents in Argentine Literature:[...]destiny gave us a great book, written by a little know man.

Jose Hernández [...] does not appear to have been a salient political intellectual nor an outstanding journalist [...] But in a few months he wrote that pamphlet EL GAUCHO MARTIN FIERRO, which continues untouched by time.

For the thousands of contemporary readers of Hernández, MARTIN FIERRO was a denouncement. For the anarchists of the 20th century, it was the voice of social rebellion. Fierro is a dispossessed made rebel by injustice, a gaucho arbitrarily forced to give in to political power, someone who has lost whatever little he had and whose only destiny is exile."

(translated by Adán Griego)

© Clarín Digital, Buenos Aires, Nov. 27, 1997


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