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Leopoldo Lugones El payador: the ultimate Martin Fierro textbook Leopoldo Lugones career as a poet and man of letters was undoubtedly hampered by his everchanging, but always passionate and sometimes questionable, political views. First an anarchist, then a socialist, finally a fascist, Lugones was a friend of Ruben Dario and the outstanding modernista poet of Argentina. His early volumes ( Las montanas de oro [the golden mountains] (1897), Los crepusculos del jardin [twilights in the garden] (1905), and El lunario sentimental [sentimental almanac] (1909) were influenced by Victor Hugo and Walt Whitman. Later he turned to realism and satire, emphasizing epic and patriotic themes. In his novels and short stories, Lugones ranges from naturalistic explorations of Argentine history ( La guerra gaucha, 1905) to literature of the fantastic (Las fuerzas extranas, 1906). In 1913, just arived from Europe, Lugones was invited to give a series of lectures in the Odeon theatre of Buenos Aires. The six lectures were attended by the most important people of the times, including then president Roque Saenz Pena and most of his cabinet. Three years later Lugones published El Payador, as a recopilation of his lectures. The main topic of the book is Martin Fierro, and it sets the basis of the still on going discussion about whether Martin Fierro or Don Segundo Sombra should be considered the Argentine gaucho role model. Our edition follows the 1916 original book, but comprises no less than 260 notes, adding lexicographic ones to the authors own reflections. It also includes the musical scores that underlined the fifth conference, and quite soon we will have free downloadable recordings available in our website. We believe that this annotated edition constitutes an important reading for all students of Southamerican literature.
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