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    Sobre el meridiano de una gaceta / Jorge Luis Borges
    Martín Fierro : Periódico quincenal de arte y crítica libre(Buenos Aires, Argentina). -- Vol. 4, no. 42 (Jun. 10, 1927)
    Journal article – Essays
    Borges, Jorge Luis. "Sobre el meridiano de una gaceta." Martín Fierro: Periódico quincenal de arte y crítica libre (Buenos Aires), vol. 4, no. 42 (June 1927).

Jorge Luis Borges points out the cultural distance that separates the Americas from Madrid, which then makes evident the impossibility of Guillermo de Torre’s proposal. Borges states: “Madrid does not understand us”; he enumerates a list of examples to support this affirmation. Borges quotes, for example, that their “orchestras are not able to attempt a tango without pulling it apart” or that the stomachs of Madrid “can’t take on Brazilian spirits without becoming ill.” Lastly, Borges ponders: “neither in Montevideo nor in Buenos Aires…is there Spanish affinity. There is, however, for that which Italianizes: there’s not a banquet without its Italian source of raviolis; there’s no compadrito [swaggerer], no matter how López he may be, that doesn’t Italianize more than Boscán.”


Martín Fierro (1924–27) played a major role in the great proliferation of avant-garde journals published in Argentina, more specifically in the 1920s Buenos Aires. Evar Méndez led it, though throughout 1925, Oliverio Girondo, Eduardo J. Bullrich, Sergio Piñero, and Alberto Prebisch also took part in its administration. Among the participants were key Argentinian writers such as Girondo, Ricardo Molinari, Leopoldo Marechal and Jorge Luis Borges, among others; as well as the artists Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, and Norah Borges. Martín Fierro ceased publication when, preceding the presidential candidacy of Hipólito Yrigoyen, the core group was divided between those who supported the magazine assuming a political stance and those who did not. This internal bickering continued until the publication’s end. It is important to recognize that Martín Fierro was seen in its time as a key fixture of the Avant-garde in Argentina
This document by Jorge Luis Borges consists of a response to an article written by Guillermo de Torre, titled “Madrid, meridiano intelectual de Hispanoamérica” [Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Spanish America] published in La Gaceta Literaria [The Literary Gazette] in Madrid, on April 15, 1927. In this text, he states that Latin American countries have a natural affiliation with Spain. Therefore, the author concludes that the Americas must see this European nation as an intellectual reference and not others, for example, France or Italy. Besides Borges, other authors responded to Guillermo de Torre’s text in the same issue of Martín Fierro. On a two-page spread, under the general heading “Un llamado a la realidad ¿Madrid, meridiano intelectual de Hispano - América?” [A Call to Reality, Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Spanish America?] Nicolás Olivari’s text “Madrid, meridiano intelectual de Hispano América” [Madrid, Intellectual Meridian of Spanish America] can be found (which see); also included are the writings of Ricardo E. Molinari, “Una carta” [A Letter]; Ildefonso Pereda Valdés “Madrid, meridiano, etc.” [Madrid, Meridian, etc.]; Pablo Rojas Paz “Imperialismo baldío” [The Wasteland of Imperialism] (which see); Santiago Ganduglia, “Buenos Aires, Metrópoli” [Buenos Aires, The Metropolis”; R. Scalabrini Ortiz, “La Implantación de un meridiano – Anotaciones de sextante” [The Meridian Implantation – Sextant Annotationes]; Ortelli and Gasset (pseudonyms for Jorge Luis Borges and Carlos Mastronardi), “A un meridiano encontrao en una fiambrera” [To a meridian found inside a lunch box], and by Lisardo Zia, “Para ‘Martín Fierro’” [To ‘Martín Fierro’]. Evar Méndez, director of Martín Fierro, also gave his response titled “Asunto fundamental” [A Key Issue] (which see) in edition number 44–45, in this periodical (August 31–November 15, 1927). All these writers gave an account in Martín Fierro of the broad polemic unchained by Guillermo de Torre’s text; however other publications in the continent echoed a response in Perú, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Brazil, and so forth.

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