José Hernández Analysis

Other literary forms

(World Poets and Poetry)

José Hernández (ehr-NON-days) dedicated his life to poetic and prosaic elucidation, illumination, and explanation of all aspects of the lifestyle, politics, and moral values of the Argentine gaucho (a type of cowboy and occasional laborer located in rural Argentina). He wrote many lengthy articles and essays about the political situation of the gauchos in relation to the power struggle between Argentine forces in favor of federalism and those in favor of regional autonomy. Hernández composed many of these works for a sophisticated readership that principally included the well-educated population of Buenos Aires and the provincial capitals of Argentina. While a journalist, he produced various works that depicted the gaucho lifestyle in biographical and instructional prose forms.


(World Poets and Poetry)

Known almost exclusively for his epic poem, The Gaucho Martin Fierro, José Hernández received no formal literary awards during his lifetime. However, he is remembered and honored through the Martín Fierro Award, given each year to the most outstanding television and radio productions in Argentina. The small statues that are awarded are in the shape of a gaucho.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Benson, Nettie Lee, ed. Catalogue of “Martín Fierro” Materials in the University of Texas Library. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1972. In commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of The Gaucho Martin Fierro.

Borges, Jorge Luis. The Spanish Language in South America: A Literary Problem. London: Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Councils, 1964. Includes a lecture on The Gaucho Martin Fierro.

Foster, David William. Argentine Literature: A Research Guide. 2d rev. and expanded ed. New York: Garland, 1982. A long chapter is dedicated to Hernández.

Scroggins, Daniel. A Concordance of José Hernández’ “Martín Fierro.” Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1971. A useful research tool.