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Synopsis

Evar Méndez maintains that the “imposition of a foreign intellectual meridian on the Argentines, whose young culture and nascent art just needs time to grow and assert itself until it achieves its own, unique identity […], is ridiculous and grotesque.” In this regard, he points out that this same journal, Martín Fierro, has already set forth all the arguments rejecting the hypothesis or wishes of Spanish writer Guillermo de Torre in issue after issue. Finally, Méndez states that “unexpectedly,” . . . “young Argentine thinking” has already had repercussions throughout Latin America, Italy, France and even on “sensible people” in Spain. Furthermore, he hopes that “all this will serve as a useful lesson for the Spanish people, who are charged with the urgent task of revising their ideas about Latin America and who must deal with our changing relationship.”

Annotations

Martín Fierro (1924-1927) held a distinguished place among the great proliferation of avant-garde journals published in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires, in the 1920s. The editor was Evar Méndez, although in 1925, Oliverio Girondo, Eduardo J. Bullrich, Sergio Piñero and Alberto Prebisch served as coeditors. Its contributors included great Argentine writers such as Girondo, Ricardo Molinari, Leopoldo Marechal and Jorge Luis Borges, among others; and its artist contributors included Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar and Norah Borges.

Martín Fierro was discontinued during Hipólito Yrigoyen’s campaign for the presidency of Argentina (1928-30). At that time, the editorial group was divided between those who proposed that politics be introduced into the pages of the magazine and those who opposed that change. This internal dispute led to the closing of the publication. At the time of its publication, Martín Fierro was perceived by its contemporaries as a representative of the avant-garde in Argentina.  

This article by Evar Méndez (1888-1955) represents a response to a text published in the journal La Gaceta Literaria in Madrid on April 15, 1927, written by Guillermo de Torre and entitled “Madrid, meridiano intelectual de Hispanoamérica” [Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Latin America]. The text contends that there is a natural affiliation of the Latin American nations with Spain. Thus, the writer reaches the conclusion that Latin America should look to this European country as an intellectual reference point and not the others, say either France or Italy.

In addition to Evar Méndez, other writers in issue No. 42 of Martín Fierro, dated June 10, 1927, presented their responses to Guillermo de Torre’s text. The general title was displayed by the journal as a two-page spread, “Un llamado a la realidad ¿Madrid, meridiano intelectual de Hispano - América?” [A Reality Check: Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Latin America?] Below this title is a text by Nicolás Olivari “Madrid, meridiano intelectual de Hispano – América,” one by Ricardo E. Molinari “Una carta” [A Letter], one by Ildefonso Pereda Valdés “Madrid, meridiano, etc.,” one by Jorge Luis Borges “Sobre el meridiano de una gaceta” [On the Meridian of a Gazette], one by Pablo Rojas Paz “Imperialismo baldío” [Barren Imperialism], one by Santiago Ganduglia, “Buenos Aires, Metrópoli” [Buenos Aires, Metropolis], one by Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz “La Implantación de un meridiano – Anotaciones de sextante” [The Implementation of a Meridian—Plotting by Sextant], one by Ortelli y Gasset (a pseudonym of Jorge Luis Borges and Carlos Mastronardi) “A un meridiano encontrao en una fiambrera” [To a Meridian Found in a Lunch Box], and one last text by Lisardo Zia “Para ‘Martín Fierro’” [To “Martin Fierro.”]

Evar Méndez, editor of Martín Fierro, presented his own response under the title “Asunto fundamental” [A Fundamental Issue] (See issue No. 44-45 of the journal, August 31- November 15, 1927.)

All these essays show what a huge controversy was stirred up in Martín Fierro by Guillermo de Torre’s text; this was also reflected in other publications in Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Brazil, etc.

Researcher
Natalia Pineau
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
© 2012 Evar Méndez Estate
Location
Fundación Pan Klub - Museo Xul Solar.