Facundo_chapter_2

Facundo_chapter_2 - 58 C HAPTER I infected source. T he h...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
58 CHAPTER I infected source. The hatred that cultured men inspire in them is im- placable, and their repugnance for the dress, ways, and manners ofthose men unyielding. From this clay are molded Argentine soldiers, and it is easy to imagine what these sorts of customs can produce in valor and tolerance for war. Add to this that from earliest childhood they are ac- customed to slaughtering cattle, and that this act of necessary cruelty familiarizes them with the spilling of blood and hardens their hearts against the victims' moans. Country life, then, has developed the gaucho's physical faculties, but none of his intelligence. His moral character is affected by his custom of triumphing over obstacles and the power of nature: he is strong, haughty, vigorous. Without instruction, without need ofit either, with- out a means of subsistence and without needs, he is happy in the midst ofhis poverty and privations, which are not many for one who has never known greater pleasures or set his desires any higher. So, although this dissolution ofsociety deeply implants barbarism because of the impos- sibility and uselessness of moral and intellectual education, in another way it is not without its attractions. The gaucho does not work; he finds food and clothing at hand in his home. Both of these are provided by his livestock, if he is a proprietor, or the house of his employer or rela- tives, ifhe owns nothing. The attention the livestock require boils down to excursions and pleasurable games. The branding, which is like the grape harvest for farmers, is a celebration whose arrival is greeted with transports of joy: this is the place where all the men within a twenty- league radius meet, where they show off incredible skill with the lasso. The gaucho arrives at the branding on his best racing horse with a slow, measured step, halting some distance away, and to better enjoy the spec- tacle, crosses his leg over the horse's neck. Ifenthusiasm so moves him, he descends slowly from his horse, unrolls his lasso, and throws it over a bull going by at the speed oflightning, forty paces away: he catches it by a hoof, as he intended, and calmly rolls his rope up again. CHAPTER II Argentine Originality and Characters Ainsi que l'ocean, les steppes remplissent l'esprit du sentiment de 1'infini. Humboldt 1 Although the conditions ofpastoral life, as constituted by colonization and negligence, give rise to grave difficulties for any sort ofpolitical or- ganization and many more for the triumph ofEuropean civilization, its institutions, and the wealth and liberty that come from it, it cannot be denied that this situation also has a poetic side, and aspects worthy of the novelist's pen. If the glimmer of a national literature momentarily shines in new American societies, it will come from descriptions of grand scenes ofnature, and above all, from the struggle between Euro- pean civilization and indigenous barbarism, between intelligence and matter. This is an awesome struggle in America, which gives rise to
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 7

Facundo_chapter_2 - 58 C HAPTER I infected source. T he h...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online