Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021

Paul Groussac’s Void: The French Writer and the Argentine Tradition
Author:Mariano Siskind    Time:2022-01-10    Click:

Paul Groussac’s Void: The French Writer and the Argentine Tradition

Mariano Siskind

Page 039-055


Abstract: The French-Argentine Paul Groussac embodied a wide range of writerly functions and cultural-political positions within the Argentine cultural field between the 1880s and the 1920s: writer, playwright, chronicler, traveler, literary, art, and music critic, historian, educator, editor, and director of the National Library during 44 years. This essay considers his place in the history of Argentine literature looking at two of the many ways in which he inscribed himself in it. The first takes up the production and reproduction of the ontological privilege of French identity as a form of legitimization for his public—and often polemic—interventions, through which he sought to establish scholarly-disciplinary practices, protocols, and conventions that would articulate an entire critical field around his own authority. The second proposes to think his alternatively weak and strong inscriptions in the literary tradition through his own narrative production: his fiction and dramaturgy, travelogues, and biographical sketches. In other words, this essay situates Groussac in an Argentine literary tradition (conceived as an organic and institutionally sanctioned textual corpus) he believed to have founded and established, a selfrepresentation that led Borges to say that Groussac saw himself as “a missionary of Voltaire among the mulattage.”

Keywords: universality, particularity, tradition, modernity, literary history, travel literature

Doi: 10.53397/hunnu.jflc.202102005




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