Item description for Facundo - Civilizacion y barbarie (Spanish Edition) by Domingo F. Sarmiento...
Right from his first book, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento shows his immense literary quality as well as an enormous statesman foresight.
Facundo is a text about geography, sociology, politics, and history all blended together as well as the clear preview of the government program of who was to become the president of Argentina 15 years later.
Sarmiento wrote Facundo in 1845. The Argentine republic at that time was just 35 years old (since its emancipation, in 1810), of which the last 12 had been under the rule of Juan Manuel de Rosas, the Buenos Aires governor self appointed "Restorer of the law", title that barely concealed the autocratic essence of his government.
The confrontation of two opposed conceptions about political power: uneducated autocratic rule versus cultivated institutionalized government, is the basis of this work, first conceived as a political pamphlet and finally grown into masterpiece heights due to the overflowing Sarmiento talent.
The statesman sets the tone, with no concessions to romanticise what he considers faults in a society with aspirations to reach civilized status. Thus, in opposition to Charles Darwin and many British subjects who traversed the pampas at the time, Sarmiento finds no positive aspects in the "gauchos". His sharp descriptions of the tracker, the horse tamer, the maverick, etc., show more precision than sympathy.
Against that background, Sarmiento unwinds the Facundo Quiroga biography. In his writing Facundo becomes the archetype of the mean, brave, cruel, uneducated, dominant, outstanding horseman, regarded with high esteem by and among the rural masses, but with little or null positive use to a civilized conception.
The list of savage deeds by Quiroga and his "Montoneros" hordes: bullying, threats, and sacking of whole cities in La Rioja, San Luis, San Juan, Mendoza, Crdoba and Tucumn is endless as the "caudillo" sets forth towards Buenos Aires.
The quarrel between "Unitary" and "Federals" had destroyed any trace of governmental authority. Rosas was the sole figure of command, though just in rural areas, so the city dwellers "Porteos" regarded him as a solution to the lack of control. The astute Rosas accepted the challenge, though under the condition of being granted the sum of public power. In spite of the objections by some citizens Rosas got appointed "Restaurador de las leyes", and soon showed a cruel side through the actions of the "Mazorca" (corn cobb society) which terrified the oposition by assasination, rape and sacking. Strangely enough no expropiations were performed at that time: Rosas was a firm believer in private property!
Defeated Quiroga, and later on assasinated in a place in Cordoba called Barranca Yaco, Rosas inherits the "caudillo" interior fiefdom exerting in fact real power over the 14 provinces that composed the Argentine Republic at that time until 1852 when he was defeated and toppled by General Justo J. de Urquiza in the Caseros battle.
"For Sarmiento, barbarism was the native tribes and gaucho plains; and cities, the civilization. The gaucho has been replaced by colonial farmers and blue collar workers, barbarism now is not just in the fields but also in the big city mobs, and the demagogue plays the role of the ancient caudillo, who also was a demagogue. The disjunctive has not changed. Sub especie aeternatitis, Facundo is still the best argentine story", wrote Jos Luis Borges in his preface to the 1975 edition.
Today, 158 years after Facundo was written, and almost 30 years since the Borges reflections, Argentina still fights entangled between the forces that sustain intitutional power versus those who privilege the personal rule of the powerful.
Civilization or barbarism is for Argentina still a pending issue, whose roots cannot be fully understood without the enlightening words of Sarmiento.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.71 lbs.
Release Date May 19, 2003
ISBN 9871136005 ISBN13 9789871136001
Availability 103 units. Availability accurate as of May 24, 2017 05:54.
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More About Domingo F. Sarmiento
An writer, educator, and activist, Domingo F. Sarmiento was President of Argentina from 1868 to 1874. Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College and the author or editor of numerous books.
Domingo F. Sarmiento was born in 1811 and died in 1888.
Domingo F. Sarmiento has published or released items in the following series...