The Slaughter Yard



El Matadero (The Slaughter Yard) is a short story written by Esteban Echeverría in 1839, though it wasn’t published until 1971. It is one of the main works of the Argentine romantic writer and a milestone in the history of Latin American literature. The book deals heavily with political allegory of the clash between civilization and barbarism in Argentina. The work alludes to the brutality with which the dictatorship of Juan Manuel Rosas repressed his opponents, the Unitarians. Beyond the idiosyncratic reading, the story includes themes that appear in the universal end of the century literature, such as the political instrumentation of the masses, tyranny, and populism, the city as an ambivalent expression of development and alienation…all of which make El Matadero a visionary text.