El Matadero (y Apologia Del Matambre)
El Matadero depicts a characteristic scene of the terrible times in Argentina before its institutionalization as a democratic republic. Esteban Echeverria transports us in place and time, and allows us to witness and relive the opressive climate of the regime against which he fought, and that was finally defeated by Urquiza giving way to the country dreamed by Alberdi, Mitre and Sarmiento, among many others. Member of Marcos Sastre's literary salon, when Rozas orders it closure Echeverria founded the Asociacion de Mayo, a secretive society following Mazzini's Young Italy. The matadero (the slaughter yard) was conceived as a political pamphlet. However the quality of its prose projects beyond its original purpose, transforming it into a jewel, useful for the study of popular customs that constitute the soul of history. At its time the critic observed that these pages were not conceived with publishing in mind, due to the haste with which they were written and crude realistic language employed. Curiously enough these "faults" constitute their major feature, as they have saved the author's work from the changes in literary fashion. Echeverria in this "nouvelle" (perhaps short story would be more accurate a deffinition) according to his friend Juan Maria Gutierrez "performs as a painter that opens his sketchbook to quickly depict in general strokes the scenes of a public street, saving them to compose a customs picture, later and in the quietness of his shop" Tempted by this line of thought we decide to include in this edition the elegant and witty "Apology of the thin flank" (apologia del matambre). Because if pictorial sketches are valuable as clues to the painter's genius, the Apologia. depicts the Echeverria, author of "Dogma Socialista" and simultaneously friend of Juan Bautista Alberdi, author of the basis of the Argentine Constitution, written following the same guidelines as the Constitution of the United States of America.
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