Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Criticism - Essay

Frances G. Crowley (essay date 1972)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Crowley, Frances G. “Sarmiento, the Publicist.” In Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, pp. 106-28. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1972.

[In the following essay, Crowley argues that early examples of social and political promotional strategies exist in Sarmiento's works.]

Sarmiento was a born publicist, aided by those two essentials dear to Hyppolite Taine, the historical moment and the opportunity. It is ironic that his exile in Chile proved to be of immense value for his later development, for his adoptive country was at the time culturally better equipped than his own to partake of his personal and political drama. Its presidential candidate Montt was to...

(The entire section is 8610 words.)

William H. Katra (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Katra, William H. “Determinism, Idealism and the Web of History.” In Domingo F. Sarmiento: Public Writer (Between 1839 and 1852), pp. 143-66. Tempe: Center for Latin American Studies, 1985.

[In the following essay, Katra examines Sarmiento's historical works, arguing that he embraces both philosophical idealism and materialism.]

Sarmiento's treatment of historical issues, as seen in the previous chapter, with contradictions and overlapping philosophical tendencies is the critic's bugaboo. One approach would be to suppose that chaos reigns in his work because of the lack of methodological consistency. However, it is known that this writer was not above...

(The entire section is 11522 words.)

Julio Ramos (essay date 1989)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Ramos, Julio. “The Other's Knowledge: Writing and Orality in Sarmiento's Facundo.” In Divergent Modernities: Culture and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Latin America, translated by John D. Blanco, pp. 3-22. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1989, Ramos asserts that the heterogeneity and undisciplined nature of Facundo actually represents an attempt to have writing bring order to the political and social chaos of newly liberated Argentina.]

It has been said that during the Latin American wars of independence the Creole elites succeeded in voicing a general consensus—a we that quickly...

(The entire section is 8629 words.)

Doris Sommer (essay date 1990)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sommer, Doris. “Plagiarized Authenticity: Sarmiento's Cooper and Others.” In Do the Americas Have a Common Literature?, edited by Gustavo Pérez Firmat, pp. 130-55. Durham: Duke University Press, 1990.

[In the following essay, Sommer analyzes the influence of James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans on Sarmiento's Facundo, focusing especially on how Sarmiento incorporates Cooper's new way of writing about the Americas.]

Poor Cora! Why must James Fenimore Cooper kill her off in The Last of the Mohicans (1826)? After lingering so long on her heroism, generosity, resourcefulness, and sheer ethical strength (not to speak of the...

(The entire section is 15551 words.)

Sylvia Molloy (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Molloy, Sylvia. “The Unquiet Self: Mnemonic Strategies in Sarmiento's Autobiographies.” In Sarmiento, Author of a Nation, pp. 193-212. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1991, Molloy examines Sarmiento's biographies and autobiographies, arguing that these works include elements of both genres.]

Toward the end of Recuerdos de provincia, speaking of the biographies he has written, Sarmiento declares that “biographies are the most original books South America has to offer in these times and the best material it can give to history.” He then adds that Facundo and “these...

(The entire section is 9162 words.)

Tulio Halperín Donghi (essay date 1993)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Donghi, Tulio Halperín. “The Old Order and Its Crisis as Theme of Recuerdos de Provincia.” In Sarmiento and his Argentina, edited by Joseph T. Criscenti, pp. 17-34. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1993.

[In the following essay, Donghi analyzes Recuerdos de Provincia, focusing on its intent and themes, while also comparing it to Facundo.]

What is the intent of Recuerdos de Provincia?1 Since its publication, readers have refused to believe what Sarmiento stated in the introduction, that it is addressed “Only to my compatriots.” In fact, it was difficult to take seriously his claim that the presence in...

(The entire section is 8536 words.)

Carlos J. Alonso (essay date winter 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Alonso, Carlos J. “Reading Sarmiento: Once More, with Passion.” Hispanic Review 62, no. 1 (winter 1994): 35-52.

[In the following essay, Alonso argues that Sarmiento writes with passion more than logic, linking this characteristic to trends of modernity and cultural identity in South American literature.]

Cualquiera puede corregir lo escrito por él [Sarmiento]; pero nadie puede igualarlo.

(J. L. Borges 130)

Anyone who has read Sarmiento in a more than casual fashion has probably experienced what I can only describe as a sensation of unsettledness, a moment when one feels that there is...

(The entire section is 6606 words.)

Ricardo Piglia (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Piglia, Ricardo. “Sarmiento the Writer.” In Sarmiento, Author of a Nation, pp. 127-44. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

[In the following essay, Piglia contends that Sarmiento played a key role in the development of Argentine literature and that his writing reflects changes in the burgeoning country.]

To speak of Sarmiento the writer is to speak of the impossibility of being a writer in nineteenth-century Argentina. The first problem: one must visualize within this impossibility the state of a literature with no autonomy; politics invades everything, there is no space, functions are intermingled, one cannot be only an author. The second...

(The entire section is 7769 words.)

Elizabeth Garrels (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Garrels, Elizabeth. “Sarmiento and the Woman Question: From 1839 to the Facundo.” In Sarmiento, Author of a Nation, pp. 272-93. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

[In the following essay, Garrels analyzes Sarmiento's many writings that relate to women and the evolution of his opinion regarding women's rights.]

In 1839, with the founding of the Santa Rosa school for girls in San Juan, Argentina, Sarmiento inaugurated his lifelong public commitment to the education of women. A few texts of an institutional nature still survive from this early project: the Prospecto de un establecimiento de educación para señoritas (Prospectus...

(The entire section is 9060 words.)

Marina Kaplan (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kaplan, Marina. “The Latin American Romance in Sarmiento, Borges, Ribeyro, Cortázar, and Rulfo.” In Sarmiento, Author of a Nation, pp. 314-26. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

[In the following excerpt, Kaplan looks at Facundo as a romance, commenting also on the stylistic elements of the novel and magic realism in the text.]

[Y] así la humanidad va amontonando leyes, principios, monumentos inmensos, sobre estas oscuras bases cuyos orígenes, cuyas cavidades están ocupadas por un error, por un misterio, por un crimen.

—Joaquín V. González, La tradición nacional...

(The entire section is 7998 words.)

Diana Sorensen Goodrich (essay date 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Goodrich, Diana Sorensen. “The Wars of Persuasion: Conflict, Interpretation and Power in the Early Years of Facundo's Reception.” In Facundo and the Construction of Argentine Culture, pp. 23-40. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Goodrich studies Facundo's reception and impact upon its initial publication.]

In Mi defensa, Sarmiento proclaims: “My love of learning has had no other origin than having learned to read very well.” [En mí no ha tenido otro origen mi afición a instruirme que el haber aprendido a leer muy bien.]1 One of the tricks his orphaned texts play upon him is that they...

(The entire section is 8813 words.)

Beatriz Vegh (essay date December 1999)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Vegh, Beatriz. “A Former President of Argentina Attends a Reading by Dickens in New York, in 1868.” Dickens Quarterly 16, no. 4 (December 1999): 243-55.

[In the following excerpt, Vegh examines Sarmiento's response to a reading by Dickens in the United States.]

The first edition of Letters from the Battle-fields of Paraguay (1870) by the explorer and scholar Richard F. Burton, a perceptive observer among British and European travelers in South America, bears the following inscription: “To His Excellency Don Domingo Faustino Sarmiento … by one who admires his honesty of purpose and the homage which he pays to progress.” Sarmiento (1811-1888) was...

(The entire section is 1562 words.)