Leopoldo Lugones

Leopoldo Lugones Argüello (13 June 1874 – 18 February 1938) was an Argentine poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, historian, professor, translator, biographer, philologist, theologian, diplomat, politician and journalist. His poetic writings are often considered to be the founding works of Spanish-language modern poetry (not, however, modernismo[1]). His short stories made him a crucial precursor and also a pioneer of both the fantastic and science fiction literature in Argentina.[2]

Leopoldo Lugones
Fotografía de Leopoldo Lugones
Born13 June 1874
Villa de María del Río Seco, Argentina
Died18 February 1938 (aged 63)
Tigre, Argentina
OccupationJournalist, Writer
GenreFantasy, Christian apologetics, Catholic apologetics, Mystery
Literary movementModernism

Firma leopoldo lugones

Early life

Born in Villa de María del Río Seco, a city in Córdoba Province, in Argentina's Catholic heartland, Lugones belonged to a family of landed gentry. He was the firstborn son of Santiago M. Lugones and Custodia Argüello. His father, son of Pedro Nolasco Lugones, was returning from the city of Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero when he met Custodia Argüello while stopping in Villa de María, a locality that was at that time disputed territory between the provinces of Santiago del Estero and Córdoba. It was his mother who gave young Leopoldo his first lessons and was responsible for his strict Catholic upbringing.

When Lugones was six years old and following the birth of a second child, the family moved to the city of Santiago del Estero and later to Ojo de Agua, a small town situated in the south of the province of Santiago del Estero close to the border with Córdoba, where the poet's two younger brothers were born: Ramón Miguel Lugones (1880, Santiago del Estero), and the youngest of the four children, Carlos Florencio Lugones (1885, Ojo de Agua). Later his parents sent him to study at the Colegio Nacional de Monserrat, in Córdoba, where his maternal grandmother lived. In 1892 the family would move to that city, at the time when Lugones was beginning his forays into the fields of journalism and literature.

He first worked for La Montaña, a newspaper, and was in favour with the aristocratic Manuel Quintana, a candidate to become a president of Argentina. This brought him first to Buenos Aires in 1896, where his literary talent developed quickly.

That year, he married Juana Agudelo, from whom he had a son, Leopoldo Polo Lugones, who would become the notorious chief of the Federal Police during the dictatorship of José Félix Uriburu. In 1899, he became an active Freemason.[3]


Lugones was the leading Argentine exponent of the Latin American literary current known as Modernismo. This was a form of Parnassianism influenced by Symbolism. He was also the author of the incredibly dense and rich historical novel La Guerra Gaucha (1905). He was an impassioned journalist, polemicist and public speaker who at first was a Socialist, later a conservative/traditionalist and finally a supporter of Fascism and as such an inspiration for a group of rightist intellectuals such as Juan Carulla and Rodolfo Irazusta.

Leopoldo Lugones went to Europe in 1906, 1911, 1913 and in 1930, in which latter year he supported the coup d'état against the aging Radical party president, Hipólito Yrigoyen. Between 1924 and 1931, Lugones took part in the works of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations.[4]

On February 18, 1938, the despairing and disillusioned Lugones committed suicide by taking a mixture of whisky and cyanide while staying at the river resort of El Tigre in Buenos Aires. Political frustration has been the most widely cited cause of his suicide. Nevertheless, recent publications in Argentina have shed light on another possible motivation: Lugones was very enamored of a girl he met at one of his lectures in the university. He maintained a passionate and emotional relationship with her until, discovered and pressured by his son, he was forced to leave her, causing in him a depressive decline that would end his life.[5]

His descendants have had similarly tragic fates. It is believed that his son Polo, the chief of police during Uriburu's dictatorship, was the creator of the picana and the one who introduced it as a method of torture. Polo Lugones committed suicide in 1971. Polo's younger daughter, Susana Pirí Lugones, was detained and disappeared in December 1978 as a victim of the Dirty War. His older daughter, Carmen, whom he called Babú, is still alive. One of Pirí's sons, Alejandro, committed suicide, like his great-grandfather, in Tigre. This comprises Lugones' tragic familial fate, curiously similar to that of Horacio Quiroga's, himself a friend and admirer of Leopoldo Lugones.


  • Las montañas del oro (The mountains of Gold) (1897)
  • Los crepúsculos del jardín (The twilight of the garden) (1905)
  • Lunario sentimental (Lunario sentimental) (1909)
  • Odas seculares (Secular Odes) (1910)
  • El libro fiel (The faithful book) (1912)
  • El libro de los paisajes (The book of landscapes) (1917)
  • Las horas doradas (The golden hours) (1922)
  • Romances del río seco (Romances Seco River) (posthumously, 1939)

Short stories

La Guerra Gaucha

La guerra Gaucha (The Gaucha War) is a 1942 Argentine historical drama and epic film directed by Lucas Demare and starring Enrique Muiño, Francisco Petrone, Ángel Magaña, and Amelia Bence. The film's script, written by Homero Manzi and Ulyses Petit de Murat, is based on the novel by Leopoldo Lugones published in 1905. The film premiered in Buenos Aires on November 20, 1942 and is considered by critics of Argentine cinema as one of the most successful films in the history of the cinema.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Zonana, Alfonso Sola González. Pról. de Enrique Marini Palmieri. Ed. a cargo de Víctor Gustavo (1999). Itinerario expresivo de Leopoldo Lugones : del subjetivismo alucinatorio al objetivismo poético. Mendoza: Ed. de la Fac. de Filosofía y Letras, Univ. Nacional del Cuyo. pp. 4, 6. ISBN 950-774-049-X.
  2. ^ Borges, Jorge Luis (1955). Leopoldo Lugones. Buenos Aires: Editorial Troquel. p. 71.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-04-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Grandjean, Martin (2018). Les réseaux de la coopération intellectuelle. La Société des Nations comme actrice des échanges scientifiques et culturels dans l'entre-deux-guerres [The Networks of Intellectual Cooperation. The League of Nations as an Actor of the Scientific and Cultural Exchanges in the Inter-War Period] (in French). Lausanne: Université de Lausanne.
  5. ^ "Cuando Lugones conoció el amor" de María Inés Cárdenas de Monner Sans, Seix Barral, Buenos Aires, (1999).
  6. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish) Di Núbila, Domingo, La época de oro. Historia del cine argentino I, Buenos Aires, Ediciones del Jilguero, 1998, p. 392, ISBN 987-95786-5-1.

External links

Argentine literature

Argentine literature, i.e. the set of literary works produced by writers who originated from Argentina, is one of the most prolific, relevant and influential in the whole Spanish speaking world, with renowned writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Leopoldo Lugones and Ernesto Sabato.

Battle of Yavi

The Battle of Yavi (also called "the Surprise at Yavi") took place on November 15, 1816, and was one of the military battles to obtain Argentina's independence from Spain.

The Army of the North was defeated at the battle. As a result, the northern border of the Argentine territory collapsed and the provinces of Salta and Jujuy were invaded by the Spaniards. The government in Buenos Aires decided then to continue the fight for independence through the Pacific flank (present-day Chile), under the command of General San Martín, while Salta's caudillo Martin Miguel de Guemes led a guerrilla war to keep at bay the royalist army in the northern provinces. This campaign is retrospectively known as La Guerra Gaucha ("The Gaucho War") after a 1905 novel by Leopoldo Lugones.

The royalist officers opposing him were Pedro Antonio de Olañeta, Juan Guillermo de Marquieguy, and Field Marshal José de la Serna. The independentist troops at Yavi were commanded by Juan José Feliciano Alejo Fernández Campero, popularly known as Marquis of Yavi, as commander of the eastern flank of General Güemes' army. Fernández Campero was a Spaniard landowner who supported the revolution.

Carlos Obligado

Carlos Obligado (21 May 1889 in Buenos Aires – 3 February 1949 in Buenos Aires) was an Argentinian poet, crític and writer, best known for his patriotic lyrics to the song "Marcha de las Malvinas" (the Argentine name for the Falklands).

He was the son of poet Rafael Obligado (the author of "Santos Vega") and Isabel Gómez Langenheim. He pursued studies at the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires and took his doctorate at the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1917.His first book, "Poemas", was published in 1920. He translated several French poets (Victor Hugo, Lamartine, Alfred de Musset and others). He was a literary critic, lecturer and university professor and served as the director of the Instituto de Literatura Argentina. In 1928 he traveled to Europe, visiting several countries. On his return to Argentina, he was named a dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. He was later named a member of the Academia Argentina de Letras and the Real Academia Española. In 1932, he produced a comprehensive translation of the poems of Edgar Allan Poe and Percy Shelley as well as a critical study of Leopoldo Lugones. The Spanish government awarded him the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise in 1947. He was manager of the "Bibliotecas Populares" of the Ministry of Education when he died on February 3, 1949.

Cristina Mucci

Cristina Mucci (born 24 January 1949) is an Argentine writer and journalist. Since 1987 she has been directing and producing the television program Los siete locos, dedicated to the dissemination of books and culture. She is the author of books about Argentine writers, such as Leopoldo Lugones and three emblematic women of Argentine literature from the 1950s–60s: Marta Lynch, Silvina Bullrich, and Beatriz Guido.

Horacio A. Rega Molina

Horacio Rega Molina (San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Argentina, 1899- Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1957) was an Argentine poet specialized in sonnets, journalist, writer, teacher, and Argentine dramatist. He worked as a literary critic in the newspaper "El Mundo". The works of his youth produced between 1919 and 1925, show an evident influence of the style of Leopoldo Lugones who sponsors him. His works abound in stories and poems about the Argentine countryside and the Argentine telluric spirit. He was a friend of Roberto Mariani and César Tiempo.

La Guerra Gaucha (novel)

La Guerra Gaucha is the first book, outside of his published poems, of the Argentine writer Leopoldo Lugones (1874–1938). Published in 1905, it is a book of stories about the gaucho guerrilla war they fought, commanded by Martín Miguel de Güemes, against the Spanish royalist during the Argentine War of Independence, between 1815 and 1825. It is written in the fictional gaucho slang of the time and it is difficult to understand for anyone not versed in it. The strength of the epic nature of the stories made it a very successful book. Based on this book, years later in 1941, it was adapted to the screen for the film La Guerra Gaucha, directed by Lucas Demare, with a screenplay by Ulyses Petit de Murat and Homero Manzi and with starring Enrique Muiño, Francisco Petrone, Ángel Magaña, Sebastián Chiola and Amelia Bence, among others.

La Montaña

La Montaña ('The Mountain') was a revolutionary socialist periodical published in Argentina. The newspaper was directed by José Ingenieros and Leopoldo Lugones. The first issue was published on April 1, 1897. The first issue opened with a manifesto, titled "We are Socialists." It was continued by an article against the state ('The Society without a state'), which continued into the second and third issues. La Montaña argued that the state was the result of private property and called for its abolition.Some of the most provocative content of La Montaña were the attacks on the influence of the Catholic Church by Ingenieros.Ingenieros later become a prominent sociologist in Argentina whilst Lugones became a prominent national right-wing poet.The twelve issues of La Montaña were republished by the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in 1996.

Las fuerzas extrañas

Las fuerzas extrañas (Spanish for: The Strange Forces) is a collection of short stories by Argentine writer Leopoldo Lugones, first published in 1906. Despite having been Lugones' least successful work at that time, it is considered to be a key pioneer in the development of the science fiction and fantasy genres in Argentina.The stories all deal with the concept of toying beyond the limits of human knowledge, having most a tendency to develop from a scientist’s invitation of a friend in order to share with them the results of their experiments, resulting, ultimately, in disaster.

Jorge Luis Borges, being an important admirer of Lugones, once said:

The literature of America feeds on this work of this great writer; writing well is, for many, writing as Lugones. The pages of "Las Fuerzas Extrañas" are amongst the most accomplished of hispanic literature.

Many of the pseudoscientific explanations used as a basis of the plot of the stories have greatly resembled scientific explanations accepted by mainstream science years later. Such is the case that Lugones himself, following the publishing of the 1926 second edition of the collection, said:

Some theories from this book, with twenty years passed by, notwithstanding the fact that they belong to an age even more behind in knowledge, are now accepted in the scientific field.

List of Argentine poets

This list of Argentine poets links birth and death years to corresponding "[year] in poetry" articles:


Lugones (surname)

Lugones is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Jorge Rubén Lugones (born 1952), Argentine Roman Catholic bishop

Leopoldo Lugones (1874–1938), Argentine writer

Maria Lugones, Argentine philosopher

Mario C. Lugones (1912–1970), Argentine film director

Martín Fierro

This article deals with Hernández's poem. For other things named after it, see Martín Fierro (disambiguation)

Martín Fierro, also known as El Gaucho Martín Fierro, is a 2,316-line epic poem by the Argentine writer José Hernández. The poem was originally published in two parts, El Gaucho Martín Fierro (1872) and La Vuelta de Martín Fierro (1879). The poem supplied a historical link to the gauchos' contribution to the national development of Argentina, for the gaucho had played a major role in Argentina's independence from Spain.The poem, written in a Spanish that evokes rural Argentina, is widely seen as the pinnacle of the genre of "gauchesque" poetry (poems centered on the life of the gaucho, written in a style that evokes the rural Argentine ballads known as payadas) and a touchstone of Argentine national identity. It has appeared in literally hundreds of editions and has been translated into over 70 languages.

Martín Fierro has earned major praise and commentaries from Leopoldo Lugones, Miguel de Unamuno, Jorge Luis Borges (see also Borges on Martín Fierro) and Rafael Squirru, among others. The Martín Fierro Award, named after the poem, is the most respected award for Argentine television and radio programs.

Martín Fierro (magazine)

Martín Fierro was an Argentine literary magazine which appeared from February 1924 to 1927. The magazine was founded by Evar Méndez (its director), José B. Cairola, Leónidas Campbell, H. Carambat, Luis L. Franco, Oliverio Girondo, Ernesto Palacio, Pablo Rojas Paz, and Gastón O. Talamón, and reached a circulation of 20,000. Its headquarters was in Buenos Aires.Several major writers, such as Jorge Luis Borges, contributed poems and short articles. Further "sympathizers" were Pedro Figari, Raúl González Tuñón, Eduardo González Lanuza, Leopoldo Marechal, Xul Solar, among others, as listed in # "12 and 13". It also published texts by Mario Bravo, Fernando Fader, Macedonio Fernández, Santiago Ganduglia, Samuel Glusberg, Norah Lange, Leopoldo Lugones, Roberto Mariani, Ricardo Molinari, Conrado Nalé Roxlo, Nicolás Olivari, Horacio A. Rega Molina and Ricardo Rojas. Illustrator Lino Palacio was one of several contributors to the graphic design of the magazine.

Martín Fierro inherited its name from a previous short-lived magazine (1919), also directed by Méndez, more committed to social and political issues, and from an anarchist magazine in which Macedonio Fernández had published poems in 1904. The magazine was named after Martín Fierro, the gaucho outlaw whose story constitutes Argentina's national poem, written by José Hernández. The 1924–1927 incarnation took a different, more "art-for-art's sake" approach. It was often linked to the Florida group, sometimes called Martín Fierro group even though some Boedo group writers also contributed to its pages. One of them, Roberto Mariani, started within Martín Fierro a debate on political engagement. Arturo Cancela suggested in a letter to Martín Fierro that both sides merge under the common name of "Schools of Floredo street", and to name Manuel Gálvez as president, as he lived in Pueyrredón street, equidistant from both groups.

Martín Fierro showcased Ramón Gómez de la Serna's work and Emilio Pettoruti and Arthur Honegger's avant garde art, attacked writer Leopoldo Lugones as an icon of the past, and also attacked the attempt of Spanish magazine La Gaceta Literaria of "setting in Madrid the intellectual meridian of Hispanoamerica," that is, claiming Spanish hegemony over Latin American intellectual culture.

One of Martín Fierro's distinguishing features was its fake obituaries, making fun of everybody, both Boedo and Florida writers, and Leopoldo Lugones himself.

The end of the publication was apparently decided by Méndez to avoid putting the magazine at the service of Hipólito Yrigoyen's campaign for a second term as president of Argentina, as some of its collaborators demanded.


Modernismo is a literary movement that took place primarily during the end of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth-century in Spanish-America, best exemplified by Rubén Darío who is also known as the father of Modernismo. The term Modernismo specifically refers to the literary movement that took place primarily in poetry. This literary movement began in 1888 after the publication of Rubén Darío's Azul. The movement died around 1920, four years after the death of Rubén Darío. The book, Azul, gave Modernismo a new meaning. In Aspects of Spanish-American Literature, the author writes (1963),“We must make art the basic element in our culture; the appreciation of beauty is a promise that we will arrive at the understanding of justice...” (pg. 35).Modernismo influences the meaning behind words and the impact of poetry on culture. Modernismo, in its simplest form, is finding the beauty and advances within the language and rhythm of literary works.

Other notable exponents are Leopoldo Lugones, José Asunción Silva, Julio Herrera y Reissig, Julián del Casal, Manuel González Prada, Aurora Cáceres, Delmira Agustini, Manuel Díaz Rodríguez and José Martí. It is a recapitulation and blending of three European currents: Romanticism, Symbolism and especially Parnassianism. Inner passions, visions, harmonies and rhythms are expressed in a rich, highly stylized verbal music. This movement was of great influence in the whole Hispanic world (including the Philippines), finding a temporary vogue also among the Generation of '98 in Spain, which posited various reactions to its perceived aestheticism.

Roberto Payró

Roberto Jorge Payró (Mercedes, April 19, 1867–Lomas de Zamora, April 8, 1928) was an Argentine writer and journalist.

Payró founded the newspaper La Tribuna in the city of Bahía Blanca, where he published his first newspaper articles. He then moved to the city of Buenos Aires where he worked as an editor at the newspaper La Nación. During this time he had the opportunity of frequently traveling both inside and outside of Argentina.

In 1895, he published a compilation of his articles in the book Los italianos en la Argentina (The Italians in Argentina). His diaries of travel and impressions gave rise to his novels: La Australia Argentina (Excursión periodística a las costas patagónicas) (Southern Argentina – a Journalist’s Excursion to the Shores of Patagonia); Tierra del Fuego e Islas de los Estados (The Land of Fire and Islands of the States); and En las tierras del Inti (In the Lands of the Inti). He also wrote for Caras y Caretas, the literary Journal of Fray mocho.

Payró was a correspondent in Europe during the First World War.

He participated fervently in meetings with other socialist writers including Leopoldo Lugones, José Ingenieros and Ernesto de la Cárcova.

Payró was also the grandparent of Brayan and Maria.

In Payró's novels one can appreciate the unique ironic language style of the period. He utilized typical people and related common situations, showing the lives of the Italian immigrants ('the feisty creoles'). In his Divertidas aventuras del nieto de Juan Moreira (Amusing Adventures of the Grandson of Juan Moreira) he tells the story of a provincial and his political career.

He also wrote historical novels such as El falso Inca, una serie de cuentos publicados bajo el nombre de Pago Chico (The False Inca, a series of accounts published under the name of Pago Chico). A posthumous work, Nuevos cuentos de Pago Chico (New Tales of Pago Chico), was published the year following his death.

Spanish Modernist literature

Spanish Modernist literature is the literature of Spain written during the Modernism (beginning of the 20th century) as the arts evolved and opposed the previous Realism.

Susana Calandrelli

Susana Calandrelli (January 17, 1901 – July 21, 1978) was an Argentine writer and teacher.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Calandrelli wrote everything from poetry, stories, novels to essays, plays, lectures and study books. She entered several different cultural institutions and directed the Escuela de Servicio Social del Insituto de Cultura Religiosa Superior. She specialized in graphology and characterology, giving courses over such material. In 1918 she received a gold medal for her work A los muertos ignorados and an award of honor for La libertad from the Académie des Jeux Floraux in Languedoc in both Spanish and French. She also collaborated in the Buenos Aires-based La Nación, La Prensa, El Hogar and other newspapers and magazines, publishing many books. Her works were appreciated by foreign audiences as well and she and her work were mentioned in several encyclopedias and anthologies in London, New York, and throughout Europe and the Americas. Some of Calandrelli's poems formed part of the Antología de la Poesía Argentina Moderna (1896-1930) by Julio Noé. Among the other featured poets were Jorge Luis Borges, Leopoldo Marechal, Ricardo Güiraldes, Oliverio Girondo, Luis Cané, Leopoldo Lugones and Alfonsina Storni.

Ulyses Petit de Murat

Ulyses Petit de Murat (28 January 1907 – 19 August 1983) was an Argentine poet and screenwriter.

He wrote the script for The Gaucho War (1942) with Homero Manzi based on the 1905 novel by Leopoldo Lugones. At the 1943 Argentine Film Critics Association Awards, Murat and Manzi won the Silver Condor Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for their screenplay of the film which proved highly successful. His poem "Graciela Oscura" was set to music by Astor Piazzolla for the film Extraña ternura; this song was repeated several times in the movie, and was reported to be the main attraction of the film when it opened at Cine Monumental in the spring of 1964.He was a member of the jury at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the 13th Moscow International Film Festival in 1983.

Villa de María del Río Seco

Villa de María del Río Seco (usually shortened to Villa de María, not to be confused with Villa María) is a town in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. It has 3,819 inhabitants per the 2001 census [INDEC], and is the head town of the Río Seco Department. It lies in the north of the province, by National Route 9, about 27 km (17 mi) south of the provincial border with Santiago del Estero and 170 km (106 mi) north-northeast of the provincial capital Córdoba.

Villa de María was founded in 1796 or 1797 by the Marquis Rafael de Sobremonte (then to be Viceroy of the Río de la Plata), with the name of Río Seco. Its name was changed to the current one by provincial governor Roque Ferreira on 26 May 1858.

The town was the birthplace of the poet Leopoldo Lugones (1874–1938), whose childhood house is today a museum and a National Historic Monument. The area was also the stage of the assassination of the caudillo of Entre Ríos Province Francisco Ramírez, in 1821.

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