Note on the boats: the controversy over the sayings of Alberto Fernández

Each Nation is constituted in its always hybrid and mixed identity from a poetic consummate in a founding work.

The Greek cannot be understood without the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Spain has been Moorish and Jewish, but in its always unstable unification, Don Quixote was decisive.

In Argentina the book that organizes the identity plot is Martín Fierro. As Borges himself indicates in his eternal poem GauchosThey had forgotten from which distant seas their ancestors came and from whom those ships were. But they knew they were not Indians even though the Indian blood inflamed their veins. Fierro himself goes to the border to meet them and to save the white captive he kills the Indian who had previously destroyed his baby with a knife.

On the other hand, there was never a pre-Hispanic culture in Argentina, as it occurred in the Latin American countries that I visited as a young man, it would have been impossible for Sor Juana or Inca Garcilaso to take place. The syncretism between Spain and the Inca or Aztec civilizations was absent.

Borges himself points out that the so-called gaucho poetry is a literary construct, a fiction never spoken in that way in our fields. The Gauchos even in their names Zoilo, Eusebio, and in the surnames let alone: ​​Flores, Maidana, etc. they reveal that unknown provenance. Mestizos of a forgotten origin who came from the ships and who did not speak as Hernández wished in his magnum opus.

But suppose that a bad choice was made with Hernández and Facundo is the crucial book (Borges’s thesis), Facundo, a mixture of Tigre and woman, Quiroga was many things but not exactly Indian.

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Being the grandson of a Guaraní India (my father from Formosa spoke Guaraní correctly) I do not need the Desert campaign and the cruel genocide carried out by the Argentines against the native peoples to confront me now. Peoples infinitely more vulnerable than the Inca or Aztec world.

All nations are daughters of massacres and blood, I only discuss a cultural crossroads. Our national and popular leaders did not build popular identities on Indian traditions, General Perón himself signed with the pseudonym of Descartes, his sentences sometimes resembled that of Martín Fierro and his appointments in the Organized Community lead to Spinoza.

And what was the accent of Belgrano and San Martín (trained in the Spanish Academy)?

And the oratorical pieces of the great Eva was not a prime example of a great rhetoric in Castilian?

The hybrid and diverse Argentine miscegenation is unthinkable without the boats.

Racism would be to nullify this by hiding history. Our love for native peoples is not to love the identical but the heterogeneous and the legacy of a nation is realized with that.

But this does not cancel the remoteness, the eccentricity, the amalgam, the crossing and the constitutive mixture that came with the Ships.


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