Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Pablo Rojas Paz explains that Guillermo de Torre’s proposal is nothing more than a formal protest, imperialist in character; one of many that Latin America has been subjected to periodically, be it by France, North America, or in this case, Spain. He states that de Torre’s suggestion is a belated, feigned utopia, given that “the Americas are self-reliant and it isn’t necessary to be confined to foreign ways in search of their own future.” In a sense, Rojas Paz emphasizes that the Spanish language inherited by Argentina has suffered a transformation, which has been converted into “a sign of [the] spiritual power” of its people. Lastly, the author states that “the intellectual protectorates are worse than the economic ones because in …[those] the oppressed spirit closely expresses its gratitude to the oppressor.”

Annotations

Martín Fierro (1924-1927) played a major role in the large proliferation of avant-garde journals published in Argentina, more specifically in Buenos Aires in the twenties. Evar Méndez led it, even though throughout the year of 1925, Oliverio Girondo, Eduardo J. Bullrich, Sergio Piñero and Alberto Prebisch also took part in its administration. Among the participants were great Argentinean writers such as, Girondo himself, Ricardo Molinari, Leopoldo Marechal and Jorge Luis Borges, among others; as well as the participation of artists Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar and Norah Borges. Martín Fierro ceased to exist with the national presidential campaign of Hipólito Yrigoyen; the group divided among members who proposed to include politics in the journal’s content and those who opposed it. This internal debate resulted in the publication’s closing. It’s important to emphasize that Martín Fierro was perceived by its contemporaries as representative of the “avant-garde” in Argentina. This document by Pablo Rojas Paz (1896-1956) consists of a response to an article written by Guillermo de Torre, titled “Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Spanish America” published in La Gaceta Literaria (The Literary Gazette) in Madrid, on April 15, 1927. In this text Latin American countries, he says, have a natural affiliation with Spain. Therefore, the author arrives at the conclusion that América must see this European nation as an intellectual reference and not others, for example France or Italy. Besides Pablo Rojas Paz, other authors responded to Guillermo de Torre’s text in the same issue of Martín Fierro. Found on a two page newspaper spread, under the general heading, “A Call to Reality, Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Spanish - America?” is found Nicolás Olivari’s text,  “Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Spanish America”(see); also found are the writings of Ricardo E. Molinari, “A Letter”; Ildefonso Pereda Valdés “Madrid, Meridian, etc.”; Jorge Luis Borges, “On a meridian of a magazine” (see); Santiago Ganduglia, “Buenos Aires, Metrópoli”; R. Scalabrini Ortiz, “The Meridian Implantation – Sextant Annotationes”; Ortelli and Gasset (pseudonyms for Jorge Luis Borges and Carlos Mastronardi), “Find a meridian inside a lunch box” and Lisardo Zia ,“To ‘Martín Fierro’”. Evar Méndez, director of Martín Fierro, also gave his response titled “Fundemental Issue” (see) issue number 44-45, in journal (August 31- November 15, 1927). All these writers gave an account in Martín Fierro of the broad polemic generated by Guillermo de Torre’s text; however other publications echoed a response in Perú, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Brazil, etc. Pablo Rojas Paz was one of Proa’s directors during its second period.

Researcher
Natalia Pineau.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Fundación Pan Klub - Museo Xul Solar.