What is Gauchesca literature? Know its important history!

We invite you to learn in this article about the Gaucho Literature Know its important history! This genre originated with the purpose of expanding a rich set of works and authors from the Río de la Plata. Discover its existence and nature.

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What is Gauchesca literature?

Gaucho literature, a subgenre of Latin American grammar, aims to remake the language of the gaucho and narrate his way of existing. Its essence is based on keeping the gaucho as a main staff, and passing the events in open environments, not populated, as occurs in the Argentine Pampas.

It is an adjusted subgenre of Hispano-American linguistics, it tries to reform the gaucho language and recount its way of existence. Its condition is based on guarding the gaucho as vital personnel, and going through events in open spaces, which are not populated, as happens in the Argentine Pampas.

The gaucho genre is considered original in the American region: North America and South America, where the way of living, thinking and acting in a social environment located specifically in the geographical part of American Argentina is presented.

This type of gaucho literature is qualified as genuine in the American territory: especially in North and South America, places where daily life takes place, its thoughts and events, in a social space, which is only observed in this geographical part.

With the elevation of Romanticism and the energy of poets and writers to show the particularities of their country, gaucho literature began to emerge. It is a new subgenre in Latin America, and especially shows the life of a class of society that was installed in the Argentine Pampas.

As is the case in other places such as the Province of Tucumán, the provinces of Salta, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Province of Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos, Río Grande del Sur and the Banda Oriental.

The literary sought with their writings, to make evident that authenticity that was part of their society, and also they did not enjoy being well seen among the wise men or bourgeois figures. See Article: I sing to Bolivar

But, with the arrival of the romantic movement, the literary turned their eyes towards their countries, and wanted to emphasize their most real characteristics and traditions. In this way, the gauchos were once again at an important level within their society and culture.

Although the process was not easy, misgivings about the coarseness and backwardness of the gauchos and their simplicity were difficult to defeat. It was not really until the work of "Martín Fierro" appeared, that one cannot comment on a story, which certainly expresses affection, respect and admiration for the gauchos. Until then, most of the times that the gaucho was shown in literature, he appeared with a contemptuous appearance.

In general, in gaucho literature, there is evidence of a folkloric and cultural alteration, which is used as censorship, in addition to exposing social criticism. In the dialect, the abundant use of metaphors, words, archaisms, and indigenous words is differentiated. Little use of synonyms is observed, and the monologue prevails over the dialogue.

However, there are withdrawn cases of gaucho literature, from the XNUMXth century, then in the XNUMXth century it is when it is finely installed as a genre. The examples of the nineteenth century are basically epic: the political verses of Bartolomé Hidalgo, the poetry of Hilario Ascasubi, during exile, the Santos Vega by Rafael Obligado, and the work of Estanislao del Campo and Antonio Lussich.

Among the gaucho poems, the most famous can be named Martín Fierro by José Hernández. The first part of the poem came to light in 1872, and then the second part, known as La Vuelta de Martín de Fierro in 1879. In the character of Martín Fierro, Hernández showed a gaucho who personified all gauchos. , detailing their way of thinking and behaving according to the occasion.

descriptive elements

Gaucho literature refers to a kind of literary creation, where the poet focuses on showing us the existence of the gauchos and their traditions. So, it is a writing where the representations of the landscape and the daily events of these peasant settlers overflow.

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In gaucho literature, the writer commonly shows the image of the gaucho in an idealized way, as opposed to how it had been shown until now. He comments on a type of person who is strongly associated with nature, who is strong, lively, brave, and who is also a singer.

For this reason, the romantic hero is the ideal, a traditional and folkloric person, who is solidly linked to nature.

Instead of observing the peasants as ignorant creatures and not at all purified, they were observed as the carriers of national wisdom, of traditions and as free people who inhabit the deep and fresh nature.

Gaucho literature had its beginnings in the XNUMXth century, however, it was not until the XNUMXth century when this subgenre can be truly discussed in a full and absolute way.


Gauchesca literature has its own history and flourishing, which can be mentioned occurred in the time before Independence, and can be outlined in three well-defined stages, each with its own characteristics, namely:

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In the year 1818, the well-known oriental poet, Bartolomé Hidalgo, published in Buenos Aires, the work "Cielito Patriótico", where he assigns the gaucho an enunciative expression to relate the event of the Battle of Maipú, leaving San Martín's army triumphant. , before the realistic troops.

The process that Hidalgo regulates with other “cielitos” and with his “gaucho dialogues”, is taken up by other literary, certain unknowns, and others like Luis Pérez, Juan Gualberto Godoy and Hilario Ascasubi, who take up the expression of the gaucho to vocalize about of the battles for Independence and the incidents that occurred during the civil and political war.

In their contextures, elements such as intimidation, humor, as well as the complex genres of war journalism, vocabulary and phrasing, are combined. See Article: Hispanic American Literature

As can be seen, in Ascasubi's famous poem "La refalosa", which appeared for the first time in the newspaper Jacinto Cielo, in Montevideo in 1834, where the expression is given to the political enemy, being the specific case of: a gaucho "mazorquero" of the army of General Manuel Oribe who, at that time, besieged the city of Montevideo, so that when recounting the manner of martyrdom and execution, popularly known as "la refalosa", the joy of the torturer, marks another twist to the nut of political panic.

In the year 1886, the writer Estanislao del Campo, in his novel Fausto, draws a funny figure of the gaucho: he recounts, in gaucho verses, the conversation between two locals, about the visit of one of them to the Teatro Colón, located in the city ​​of Buenos Aires, where the opera “Faust” by C. Gounod is performed.

So, the uncomfortable character, to understand what he sees, because of a place that is not common to his rural environment, is what makes the main source of humor. But, the same humor, leads to some rituals and arrangements of conditioned urban spaces.

At the end of the third stage, being the year 1872, José Hernández publishes a brochure, recounting the life of "El gaucho Martín Fierro", however, the novelty is that it gives the gaucho an opportunity to tell the story of his life, It is his autobiography in fable, narrates the surprising thing about his hobby, produced by a political system that deceives and that also invades his existence, transforming it forever.

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In the year 1879, the author returns to take the life of the gaucho Martín Fierro, also adds other stories of gauchos, guitarists and suggestions from parents to their children in his work “The return of Martín Fierro. But, Lucio V. Mansilla, with the narration of him "Miguelito" in his work "An excursion to the Ranquel Indians" of the year 1870, advanced the life of Martín Fierro.

Which translates, that a progress of the genre is observed, from the feeling of melancholic literature, turning it into a literary genre as such, because in the first stages, poetry expands, a grammatical poetic realism and an experience, giving way to idealism in verb.

In the literature of the gaucho genre, the materials used to inform peoples who do not have the facility to obtain the text, the printing press, nor education, and who, after emigrating to the metropolis, are admitted in the surroundings, Expressed this, it is when a good number of people were registered.

When meditating on gender, its genesis is found in three different aspects: the liberal economy that converts the form of production and the economy of the region, the slow urban establishment, and the growth of education on the two banks of the River de la Plata, with José Pedro Varela and Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, as promoters of the transformation.

Lauro Ayestarán was a Uruguayan musicologist, maintains that the genre is like a literary magic, because it refers to a constant search since the eighteenth century, to transfer the thoughts and feelings of a particular region of society, however, more in the ambitions of drawing the symbolic figure of the gaucho for the decadences.

Bartolomé José Hidalgo, oriental writer, pioneer of gaucho poetry from the United Provinces of Río de la Plata, considered the "first gaucho poet", in his Patriotic Dialogues of 1822, began gaucho literature; Estanislao del Campo, in El Fausto Criollo, in the Fausto Criollo of 1866, Hilario Ascasubi, in his novel Santos Vega in 1870.

In gaucho literature, there were different founding writers of gaucho poetry, which emerged in the provinces of Río de Planta, among which appears the oriental writer known as Bartolomé José Hidalgo, who is described as the "first gaucho poet", with his famous work Patriotic Dialogues from the year 1822. Like Estanislao del Campo, with his work El Fausto Criollo from the year 1866, and Hilario Ascasubi, with his famous work Santos Vega from the year 1870.

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Antonio Dionisio Lussich Griffo, a Uruguayan shipowner, arborist and writer, is considered by Jorge Luis Borges to be a former "Martín Fierro", his contemporary and well-known José Hernández, one of the three oriental gauchos, the other as Martín Fierro, who were edited in the year 1872, and show an exalted gaucho, with an illustrious spirit, admired by the villagers for his physical and moral energy.

In the same way, since the year 1830, the most gigantic of the 1845th century, literary works by Juan Baltasar Maciel, stand out, knowing that in a moment of literary aimlessness, regarding the subject of the gauchos, here is the primordial work of San Juan Sarmiento; cleverly the son of a gaucho, with his Facundo in the year XNUMX.

Who maintains a mixed link of love and hate towards what refers to the gaucho: qualifies the gaucho as good: explorer and versed, who exists in a state of union with nature; and bad: “a man divorced from society, proscribed by law;... white-colored savage”, which contains the singer, who marches “from tapera to barn”, intoning his own and improper adventures.

In the year 1857, Santiago Ramos achieved some fame, with his literary work entitled "El gaucho de Buenos Aires".

Eduardo Gutiérrez, achieved particular popularity, with practically a dozen novels that narrate about the gaucho, assiduously focused on the bad gaucho, his works are full of bloody fights, rapes and dramatic events.

Among his most famous novels is Juan Moreira, from the year 1879, made in the story of a gaucho who led his existence between the punishable and political violence. Likewise, the oriental Elías Regules can be mentioned as another great gaucho author, who was a favorite among countrymen readers at the end of the XNUMXth century, as indicated by Jorge Luis Borges in his story "History of a child who saw a duel".

Also among the outstanding writers is Martiniano Leguizamón, who develops gaucho themes.

In the year 1895, the gaucho authors of Río de Plata created the publication El Fogón, which was exclusive to gaucho literature.

The notoriety of gaucho stories and literary works, at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, developed in an impressive way, when numerous societies were formed around Buenos Aires, as well as in Uruguay, whose partners were especially emigrants who wore clothing like gauchos, and repeat their traditions. With the passing of days, newspapers were created where gaucho issues were related.

It seemed to many that the difference between the good and the bad gaucho, within his legend, is very eminent because he agrees to understand the rarity of this myth.

Sarmiento insists on the nomadic permanence of the gaucho, on his rude attitude, on his ability to subsist in the Pampa, which enchants him with its antimagnetic beauty and hidden risk, especially because he recognizes the inhabitant of the Pampa as an ordinary person, contrary to development, in parallel with the refined citizens "who wear European dress, live a civilized life... [where] are the laws, the ideas of progress, the means of instruction... etc."

The presence of the bad gaucho is the same in the Juan Moreira of the year 1880, the literary work of Eduardo Gutiérrez. In this novel, he narrates the existence of a historical person typical of the customary Pampas landscape: Juan Moreira. It narrates about the games of this "Robin Hood", Argentine, that the aristocracy of him differs with a vestige of gruesome murders, and perfidious deaths. But, that crime has a reason that justifies the gaucho.

In Gutiérrez's literary work, the gaucho, harmed by society, made harmful by the injustice to which he is subjected, protests against the law. His mischief and at the same time his foolishness are the foundation of the Creole legend, begun by Martín Fierro.

His social impairment, and his malevolent influence require the gaucho to withdraw, becoming an impulsive and antisociable person. This type of gaucho is popularly known as "gaucho matrero"

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At the end of the XNUMXth century, Gaston Maspero, a French Egyptologist, published in his research titled “Sur quelques singularités phonétiques de l'espagnol parlé dans la campagne de Buenos-Ayres et de Montevideo”, which translates “On some singularities of the Spanish spoken in the campaign of Buenos Aires and Montevideo”, such an essay is worthy of a special evocation, alluding to the phonological particularities of the language of the natives of the campaign in the respective countries of the ports of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

Also, in those times and until the first part of the XNUMXth century, the literary works of the native of Entre Ríos, Eleuterio F. Tiscornia, are memorable.

His first edition of Don Segundo Sombra from the year 1926. Ricardo Güiraldes, in Don Segundo Sombra, once again turns the field into an epic. In words of Lugones: “Landscape and man illuminate in it with great strokes of hope and strength. What generosity of land that engenders that life, what security of triumph in the great march towards happiness and beauty”.

Once it exalts the gaucho with epic touches of virtue and courage in an absolute bond of solidarity with nature, it enriches the concept that has formed the model of the gaucho, so remembered in the Argentine tradition.

When telling the story of the bad gaucho, one would have to start with Santos Vega, where the gaucho is malevolent and guilty, and continue with Martín Fierro, being forced by the unjust law to kill and fight "the party", however , joins at the end with the system.

While in Moreira, the gaucho matrero, becomes a great fighter, who even being greatly injured by justice, ultimately dies in his law.

Speaking of the legend of the insurgent hero: we find, in our days, the bandit hero Mate Cosido, who harassed in the Chaco by the police, is a character whom they have affection for and is also protected by the inhabitants, because he does not steal to the poor, but to the big exploiting businessmen, and thus becomes an avenger of the oppressed.

It should also be taken into account that both Juan Moreira and Mate Cosido were authentic people, not just characters that appear in literary works, as was the case with Martín Fierro. In reference to Santos Vega, the literary character, perhaps it is based on a character that truly existed, however, nothing is known of his existence at all.

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In the trajectory of the XNUMXth century, gaucho literature declines, although it survives, especially in the improvisation of verses, and in the lyrics of folk songs, as can be evidenced in the poetry of Manuel J. Castilla, from Salta, and his countryman the “ cuchi” Leguizamón, or those of the native of Buenos Aires, Héctor Roberto Chavero, known by the alias of Atahualpa Yupanqui, who together with his French wife Paula Nenette Pepín, being in the north of the Argentine province of Córdoba, dedicated themselves to composing poetry gauchescas in the second part of the XNUMXth century.

However, a strange phenomenon is generated: the manifestation of the gaucho in the comic strip, being the cases of Lindor Covas, by Walter Ciocca; Santos Leiva, by Ricardo Villagrán, and Raúl Roux, El Huinca; Fabián Leyes, works by Enrique José Rapela; the works by Carlos “Chingolo” de Casalla such as “El Cabo Savino”, with scripts by the same designer and by Julio Álvarez Cao, Chacho Varela and Jorge Morhain, who showed the XNUMXth century gaucho in his most exemplary forms.

These comic gauchos exalted in abundance, had their counterweight in the visual narrative of the illustrations drawn at the end of the 70th century, and the beginning of the XNUMXth century, by Cao, father, and the paintings elaborated by Florencio Molina Campos, who with grace is exhibited a more human gauchaje, in the XNUMX's, the visual custom that jocularly personifies, although with admiration the gauchaje is continued by other cartoon gauchos.

The gaucho Carayá, and particularly, Inodoro Pereyra, El Renegau, a sublime tribute in humorous form, made by Roberto Fontanarrosa. In March 2000, Martín Fierro was published, with drawings by Carlos «Chingolo» Casalla. During the year 2014, an edition of Martín Fierro is shown, instructed by Carlos Montefusco.

Who were the gauchos?

The gauchos refer to a very common type of people in Latin American societies, who began to be manifest in the rest of the world. The gauchos were people who lived in rural places in countries like Argentina. They were people who dedicated themselves to cultivating the fields, and very clever in driving with horses as a means of transportation.

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Due to their social status, they were generally simple people with limited economic resources, however, with full freedom to live in an environment surrounded by nature. The gaucho is visualized by some romantics as a magnificent man, a person in permanent contact with the natural environment and free from everything that surrounds him and could harm and alter the epic spirit.

Likewise, it should be kept in mind that the gauchos had many popular songs, and for this reason, for many romantics they were qualified as true poets. The gauchos, referred to people who worked in the field, and for the educated, they were people who stayed out of social circles, so they were removed from culture and their image was dishonored.


In this article, which talks about gaucho literature, it is important to make known its characteristics that encompass this literary subgenre, we will let you know below:

The gaucho as protagonist

One of the main characteristics of this type of literature is that the protagonist is the gaucho, whose exploits, behavior and daily habits are narrated.

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nature scene

Likewise, in general, due to his status as a gaucho, the space where the work or poem is narrated takes place in a natural environment. La Pampa Argentina, is one of the most demanding places.

Gaucho personality

Generally, the character of the gaucho is shown as a hermit, humble, simple man, however, he is permanently with the environment, and has the ability to move naturally around his surroundings.

Essential elements

To conclude with the best image of the traditional gaucho, it is common for writers to show this figure along with other special elements such as: horses, his poncho, a knife, and the traditional mate cannot be left behind.

country vs city

In general, the great part of literary works that narrate about the gauchos, shows the resemblance between life in the countryside, which is idealized by the romantics, to the most genuine lost paradise; and life in the city, which is presented in detail from an absurd and harmful point of view.

Abundant descriptions

In gaucho literature, there are also plenty of descriptions in all aspects. In the aspect of the environment, such as the gaucho, the customs, the activities of the field, among others. The writers would like to enhance the image of the gaucho, so they gave him a notorious space in literature.

adapted language

Apart from this kind of literary works, the literary can show a gaucho in a very authentic way, which translates, the expression that is used when the writer gives his character a colloquial, informal language full of solecisms. Likewise, it is important to point out that in this type of literary works, the monologue prevails over dialogue, everything as has been mentioned, the gaucho is a hermit person.

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Social criticism

The great part of the literary works of the gaucho genre, we find that the writer wanted to throw a harsh criticism at the society of the times, which had segregated and mistreated the gaucho, when the truth, in his image all the custom was hidden most genuine of society.

It can be concluded that gaucho literature enjoys having a characteristic of homogeneity, it is compact, with a united argument, which changes over time, difficult to differentiate its writers, due to the style, it is of unalterable unity, with a solid and strong structure. . Emphasis is placed on the relationship that joins the gaucho with nature in a kind of "psycho-cosmic parallelism", expressing the influence that nature has on the character of this type of genre.

The evolution of the genre

With the gaucho transformed into an essential supporter of the national feeling of the Argentine gentile, gaucho literature will overflow with embellishment and turn it into a myth that uses the copy molded by Hernández.

The gaucho literary work, presented by Eduardo Gutiérrez, Juan Moreira in the year 1882, begins in an extensive current of gaucho pamphlets, where the protagonists are no longer the gaucho emerged from the fields, but rather the gaucho exalted by the novels .

There are, however, certain writers who extend the vision of the gaucho without adulterating it, who heads the list Ricardo Güiraldes, 1887 to 1927, with the publication of the year 1926, with his novel Don Segundo Sombra, the resurgence of the gaucho genre. It is equally worth mentioning the gaucho-themed narrative literary work of the literary Roberto J. Payró.


Gauchesca literature, as such, definitively originates in the XNUMXth century, with the authors:

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Hilary Ascasubi: 1807-1875

It is estimated the first literary gauchesco. It is so much so that in 1829, he began to edit the first political and gaucho newspaper called "El arriero argentina". Then in the year 1833, he published his first gaucho work that contained a dialogue between Jacinto Amores and Simón Peñalva.

Hilary Ascasubi: 1834-1880

This writer of gaucho literature begins his participation in the newspaper known as "Los debates". Under the alias "Anastasio el Pollo".

Antonio D Lussich: 1848 – 1928

Uruguayan writer, with his participation "The three oriental gauchos", which appeared in the year 1872, through his intervention achieved that José Hernández, will publish his work "Martín Fierro".

Jose Hernandez: 1834 – 1866

He became the main writer of gaucho literature, who published his work in 1872: "El gaucho Martín Fierro", which achieved great success in a vertiginous way. Hernández placed in a famous and recognized position a personal separated from Argentine society. The character became an Argentine hero and of the romantic current.

Gaucho literature narrators

Among the narrators of this literary genre, they are found to have been important such as:
Benito Lynch, realist, author of El Inglés de los güesos, year 1924, and Romance de un gaucho, year 1936. Leopoldo Lugones, with his work La Guerra Gaucha of year 1905. Ricardo Ricardo Güiraldes, author of Don Segunda Sombra del año 1926.

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  1.   Lucia said

    I think I found an error in the text. In the authors' sector, the writer who lived from 1834 to 1880, isn't he Estanislao del Campo?