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ISBN: 978-84-15009-26-9
25,00 €
Pages: 280
Dimensions: 24 x 31 cm
In color: No
Rustic: No


This 2013 marks one hundred and forty years since the publication of Martin Fierro in 1873 by José Hernández, the Argentine national book, which was commented on by Azorín and Unamuno, but neither Juan Ramón nor the Machadoes nor Federico García Lorca left any testimony of a hypothetical reading the work of José Hernández. Neither did Rafael Cansinos-Assens and Francisco Ayala deal with Martin Fierro, despite his multiple connections with Argentine literature. In fact, until Fernando Quiñones recognized his admiration for the gaucho classic in 1963 and Rafael Alberti did not draw up some introductory verses for a Catalan edition in 1968, no relevant Andalusian writer had given any consideration to Martin Fierro.

And since fate likes symmetries and repetitions –as Borges said-, the "sad" or yaravíes from the Río de la Plata were listened to and picked up by cantaores. From his first couplet, Martin Fierro reveals this vocation. And since the meter of his verses has eight syllables, he allows the interpretation by soleares and alegrías, although the flamenco singers who have dared to cover the songs of Martin Fierro have opted for fandangos, such as the 406 copla from The return adapted by José Menese or the copla 363 sung by The Goatherd, faithful to the original.

In fact, gaucho poetry not only in tune very well with the spirit of flamenco lyrics and the sententious air of Andalusian popular verses but also with the characteristics of Andalusian speech and phonetics ...the Castilian of the gauchos offers common traits with that of the Balkan Jews. Which, among other things, reveals a language before the humanist influence, as Armando López Castro points out.

Despite being a work best known in Spain by scholars and specialists, Martin Fierro's verses have also transcended the most curious channels, because when Alfredo Di Stefano triumphed as a Real Madrid player during the 50s, he used to boast of To be a bull in one's own field and a chest in another's field, an image taken from couplet 11 of the poem.

Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936), author of a book of stories about gauchos, malevos and compadritos –The Conquest of the River Plate (1924) - and a volume of miscellaneous stories –Thirteen Stories (1900) - where he stands out « La Pulpería ”, a story in which the protagonists are Martin Fierro, Don Cruz and Uncle Viscacha. Thus, many years before Borges wrote "Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz" for the Aleph (1949) and "The End" for Fictions (1956), Cunninghame Graham had already concocted a literary digression of Martin Fierro and forged the deadly scene of the grocer's shop.


José Hernández.

Miguel Carini. Illustrations.

Fernando Iwasaki. Foreword.


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