The Payador


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The Payador was originally a cycle of six lectures given by Leopoldo Lugones, in 1913, at the Odeón theater before the great majority of Argentine politicians and writers of the time. Then he traveled to Europe and returned to the Argentine Republic at the beginning of the First World War. Once back, he compiled this material, added four new chapters, and published it under the name El payador in 1916, centenary of the Argentine Independence. This book portrays the life and customs of the gaucho in the pampas, in particular the payador, wandering singer of romances. Lugones establishes a direct relationship between Martin Fierro and works such as Homer’s Iliad, Canto de Mio Cid, and Divina Comedia.

«The gaucho had a decisive influence on the formation of nationality as a conciliatory and at the same time differential element between the Indian and the Spanish. Everything that is national origin comes from him: the war of independence, the civil war, the war with the Indians. Let us not regret, however, excessively its disappearance that was a good for the country, because the gaucho contained a lower element in its share of indigenous blood.»

(Description is in English, book edition is in Spanish)