Education and Culture, Literature
Ricardo Guiraldes, Leopoldo Lugones, gaucho Martin Fierro, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Faust legend
Argentine literature, originally a derivative form of Spanish literature, took on a markedly nationalistic flavor in the 19th century. The poem Fausto (1866), by Estanislao del Campo, is a gaucho version of the Faust legend; El gaucho Martin Fierro (1872; The Departure of Martin Fierro, 1935), a narrative poem on gaucho life by Jose Hernandez, is considered by many the national epic of Argentina; and finally, the sociological essay Facundo (1845; translated 1868), by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, is a study of how the rural life of the Argentine Pampas helped shape the national character.
Twentieth-century Argentine literature has produced the celebrated Don Segundo Sombra, Shadows on the Pampas (1926; translated 1935), a novel by Ricardo Guiraldes; Hopscotch (1963; translated 1966), a novel by Julio Cortazar; The Kiss of the Spider Woman (1976; translated 1979), a novel by Manuel Puig; and the stories of Ernesto Sabato. Eduardo Mallea, a novelist who wrote on existentialist themes, and Jorge Luis Borges, internationally renowned for his short stories, are major contemporary figures. The best-known poet is Leopoldo Lugones, who wrote both symbolist and naturalist verse.
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