Anthology of Jorge Mañach

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Illustrated rustic ISBN: 9788499538396
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411260572

Jorge Mañach (1898-1961) was one of the most important Cuban intellectuals of the first half of the twentieth century and his cultural essays achieved continental notoriety. This Anthology contains three of his best-known essays.

  • Inquiry of the choteo,
  • The crisis of high culture in Cuba
  • and Barú, Clavelito and company.

We chose these essays for our Anthology of Jorge Mañach because they deal with essential aspects of what he would consider the good state of a country. In the order in which we have arranged them, he speaks of culture, of his capacity and of the capacity of citizens to rationalize their most urgent dilemmas.

Perhaps the theme of this conference has come as a surprise to some of you. It doesn’t seem like a serious issue.
This seriousness, however, is precisely going to occupy our attention a little today. The concept of seriousness is itself very diffuse. Many things taken for serious are revealed, on a demanding examination, unworthy of that prestige; it’s the Pacheco thing. And, on the contrary, there are those who, behind a trivial and derisory aspect, hide essential importance, like those men who walk the world with the soul of an amphora in the body of a pitcher.
The same thing happens to ideas. Certain epochs have exhibited a marked tendency to clothe more or less fatuous ideas with gravity. For example, the last century, which by its romantic exaltation and its almost superstitious devotion to “the principles” inflated numerous concepts, attributing to them a real content and a transcendence that the following years have been responsible for denying. These balloon-ideas enjoyed until now an enviable prestige of excellence. Modern realism has given them an ironic prick, depriving them of what in Creole we would call their “vivío”. This same epoch of ours, arisca to all gravity, insists on claiming the importance of things considered despicable, and strives to discover the meaning of the insignificant. The themes have been renewed with this pre-eminence granted by our time to the plain state of ideas. We most authoritative advisors urge us to abandon the Olympic curiosities and observe the small and familiar things, the humble things that are around us.

Fragment of Inquiry of the choteo

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