Facundo: Or, Civilization and Barbarism (Penguin Classics)
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Ostensibly a biography of the gaucho barbarian Juan Facundo Quiroga, Facundo is also a complex, passionate work of history, sociology, and political commentary, and Latin America's most important essay of the nineteenth century.
this part of the note, Sarmiento states, in Diana Sorensen Goodrich’s translation: Toward the end of 1840, I was leaving my homeland, a pitiful exile, ruined, full of bruises, kicks, and blows received the previous day in one of those bloody bacchanals of low soldiers and mazorqueros. As I passed the baths of Zonza . . . I wrote these words in charcoal: On ne tue point les idées. The government, which had been made aware of this, sent a commission in charge of deciphering the hieroglyph,
not even deigning to look back. He is seldom pursued; that would be killing horses to no purpose, for the beast of the gaucho outlaw is a bay courser, as noted in his own way as his master. If he ever happens to fall unawares into the hands of the soldiers, he sets upon the densest masses of his assailants, and breaks through them, with the help of a few slashes left by his knife upon the faces or bodies of his opponents; and lying along the ridge of his horse’s back to avoid the bullets sent
the famous citadel of Tucuman to blot out the last remains of Republicanism and civil order. Facundo now reappears in the Llanos, at his father’s house. At this period occurred an event which is well attested. Yet one of the writers whose manuscripts I am using, replies to an inquiry about the matter, “that to the extent of his knowledge Quiroga never attempted forcibly to deprive his parents of money,” and I could wish to adopt this statement, irreconcilable as it is with unvarying tradition
priest, the privileged liberty of kings, the representative liberty of the nation, Roman slavery, barbarian serfage, and the servitude of escheatage (aubane). —CHATEAUBRIAND Facundo is now in possession of La Rioja, its umpire and absolute master; no other voice is heard there, no other interest than his exists there. As there is no literature, there are no opposing opinions. La Rioja is a military machine which will move as it is moved. Thus far, however, Facundo has done nothing new; Dr.
command, and escort me to Cordova.” These words of Quiroga, which I have but recently learned, explain why he so strangely persisted in defying death. Pride and faith in the terror of his name, urged him on to the fatal catastrophe. I had already so accounted for it in my own mind, before I had the confirmation of his words. The night which the travellers passed at the post-station of Ojo del Agua, was one of great agony to the unhappy secretary, who was going to a certain death without the