B’aires follows as a cosmopolitan capital of Latin America

Posted by: | January 19, 2009 | Comments Off on B’aires follows as a cosmopolitan capital of Latin America

I find Jorge Luis Borges a brilliant author. His peculiar writing guides a world of fiction and metaphors into our consciousness that naturally builds up in a complexity of cultural and political inferences. The short-story ‘A Celebration of the Monster’ depicts the dichotomies of the political unrest of Argentina during the Peronism period through the lenses of a narrator that is a labourer and convict peronist. The story is a letter to Nelly telling the experience of this young participant in ‘a regular civic demonstration’ (pg.202) followed by Perón’s discourse. I find that the young labourers, in this case, represent the people that were followers (in the clearest meaning of the word) of Perón, in its majority, the people from the countryside and outskirts of Buenos Aires. The migrants, or early-settlers, of the cosmopolitan and european characterized Buenos Aires, found in Perón’s populist discourses a buffer and ideology to hold on to.

While the popularity of Perón was definitely passionate and enthusiastic, the masses, as portrayed by Borges, were also driven by violence and lack of dialogue. Borges depicts the weaknesses of peronists as a social monstrosity in both physical and critical capacities. The strength of peronists might have been the very quantitative character of a homogenous mass, in which the peronist ideology and emotion were maneuvered through rhetorical discourses. The passage where the young labourer writes about the encounter with a jew is a good example of the irrationality in actions combined with the notion of conflict based on the dichotomy country-city. By this I mean that the young jew, likely a student hence the books he held in hands, doesn’t necessarily represent the jews as religion followers only (even though there is actually a large jew community in Buenos Aires), but also as the anti-peronists largely represented by the intellectual minorities with ideals based on critical thinking. The young jew expresses his aversion to Perón, an act of civil freedom of speech that is taken by the young Perón followers to the extreme by beating him up to death. Borges is also portraying the relationship between the peronist and anti-peronist civilians, and the conflict in cultural and political ideologies that are related to the country-side and the cosmopolitan Buenos Aires.

In ‘My Message’, by Eva Perón, her nationalist and populist discourse, based in deep and personal emotions, gave me a sense of extreme naiveté. I definitely don’t know enough about her endeavor in the political and social sphere beyond this reading, however, I see it as romanticized performance. Despite her inclusiveness to her people I feel Eva Perón chose to write and talk, more than live her beliefs (I take the pictures at the end of the readings as a source of Eva Perón’s life). I see the peronist movement as being more disruptive than constructive of a civil and democratic society. However, I have no major understanding of the political unrest of the time, but I think that my previous familiarity with Borges metaphorical language spoke to me more intensively than the repetitive and loosen words by Eva Perón.


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