The Literature of Tierra del Fuego




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A BRIEF RESUMÉ OF HISTORIOGRAGHIC WRITINGS AND SHORT ARTICLES ON TIERRA DEL FUEGO'S LITERATURE.

As the sociologist José Luis de Imaz says at the beginning of his book Los Hombres del Confín del Mundo ( Men of the Uttermost End of the World): "Tierra del Fuego has barely one hundred years of civilized life, but possesses a rich historiography, so much so that, in proportion with its age, no other province of the country has such an appealing history. Perhaps it is benefited by its exceptional combination of historians and narrators..."

It's convenient, when talking about Fuegian literature, to take into account that de Imaz's words emphasize - through omitting- the preeminence of writings on history over fictional literature. When Comodore Augusto Lasserre arrived at what now is Ushuaia (1884), the Anglican Mission, in charge of Reverend Thomas Bridges, was already settled in the area. He sheltered members of the Yamana people, canoe nomads of the Beagle Channel (Onashaga). To Thomas Bridges we owe the publication of the Yamana - English Dictionary (l879) with over 32.000 words, and a translation of the Holy Bible into the Yamana Language ( see list below). His son E. Lucas Bridges wrote the Uttermost Part of the Earth, one of the most famous books on Tierra del Fuego.

The works published by Salesian Don Bosco Missionaries, settled in the north of the island in 1893, are vast and prolific. Among these we can mention Reverend José María Beauvoir ( Pequeño Diccionario del Idioma Fueguino - Ona con su correspondiente Castellano - 1901- (Small Dictionary of Fuegian - Ona Language with its Corresponding Spanish); Los Shelknam - 1915 - (The Shelknam) ); Reverend Alberto de Agostini (I miei viaggi nella Terra del Fuoco - 1923 -) giving us a historical chronicle, topographical survey, etc.; and others such as Raúl Entraigas (Monseñor Fagnano -1945-; Piedra Buena, caballero del mar - 1966- ( Piedra Buena, man of the sea), and Juan Esteban Belza ( see list below) and on well into the seventies. It is important to emphasize the monumental work written by Martin Gusinde, German priest who, at the beginning of the century performed important research on ways of life, customs and Shelknam ceremonies. Boleslao Lewin ( see list below) is a must for those interested in knowing about Julio Poppers ( see special information). Ramón Lucio Cortés, one of the most outstanding commissaries of the Fuegian Police, - who settled in Tierra del Fuego in 1885 - has left us his chronicles and police reports, documents which can be read as real adventure stories.

As one can see, most of these publications have been written by men who have worked for some of the most influential institutions of the area. Within these institutions one must also consider the Argentine Navy, whose men have also written many articles on Fuegian history, the last one being (La Armada Argentina en Tierra del Fuego (1996) The Argentine Navy in Tierra del Fuego)by evangelist priest Arnoldo Canclini, one of the most prolific Fuegian historians. The presence of the penitentiary in Ushuaia ( see special inf.) has also gathered a number of investigators, among these we may mention Juan Carlos García Basalo (see list below).

Other names we can incorporate in this synthesis are those of Roberto J. Payró (La Australia argentina - 1898 - Southern Argentina) and Ricardo Rojas (Archpiélago - 1934 -) The first talks about the potential patrimony of Tierra del Fuego and the second describes the penitentiary and the Fuegian society from a sociological point of view. Both texts are a must to get an approximate idea of this young land through the eyes of two very important Argentine writers.

Research on the history of Tierra del Fuego is constant, and so is the work of specialists in different sciences such as: geography, biology, anthropology, archeology, arquitecture of the area, ethnology, etc. All these can be found in the library of the FIN DEL MUNDO museum. All the information is being computerized. The literary composition of Tierra del Fuego started after these publications. The edition of books commenced slowly towards the end of the fifties - with some exceptions as Kupén (1948), or a series of Fuegian stories written by Mr. Enrique Campos Menendez, and Del ímpetu dichoso (1943), poems written during José María Castiñeira de Dios'youth - and it consolidates during the eighties. Possibly this "literary lethargy" is due to the fact that the pioneers were busy "building the history" and during the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth, they were living the adventure of Tierra del Fuego. In this aspect the oral history of the older residents confirm, once again, that on many occasions "reality is greater than fiction".

At present , HANIS ASSOCIATION is investigating on, and preparing a list of articles written during the last twenty years. There is a preliminary chart at the bottom of this page. For those who are interested in this subject we recommend the work written by Ricardo Horacio Caletti (see list below). His investigation on Fuegian literature dates up to 1975. For more information on the books and authors listed below , please contact us through the E-Mail of MUSEO DEL FIN DEL MUNDO and HANIS ASSOCIATION..-


Index
  1. A BRIEF LIST OF SOME OF THE WORKS MOST CONSULTED IN THE FIN DEL MUNDO MUSEUM LIBRARY.
  2. LISTADO PRELIMINAR DE EDICIONES DE LITERATURA FUEGUINA, REVISTAS LITERARIAS Y CULTURALES Y OTROS
  3. ANTOLOGÍAS Y OTRAS PUBLICACIONES CONJUNTAS
  4. BIBLIOGRAFÍA REFERENCIAL
  5. REVISTAS LITERARIAS, CULTURALES Y OTRAS
  6. REVISTAS Y PERIODICOS ESCOLARES
  7. SELECCIÓN LITERARIA




1- A BRIEF LIST OF SOME OF THE WORKS MOST CONSULTED IN THE FIN DEL MUNDO MUSEUM LIBRARY.



2- LISTADO PRELIMINAR DE EDICIONES DE LITERATURA FUEGUINA, REVISTAS LITERARIAS Y CULTURALES Y OTROS.



3- ANTOLOGÍAS Y OTRAS PUBLICACIONES CONJUNTAS



4- BIBLIOGRAFÍA REFERENCIAL


5- REVISTAS LITERARIAS, CULTURALES Y OTRAS


6- REVISTAS Y PERIODICOS ESCOLARES









Selección

(Chapman, Anne en : Los Selk'nam. La vida de los onas. Capítulo1: "Historia y medio ambiente" -Los selk'nam en la historia-, pág 25). -Título Original: Drama and power in a hunting society: The Selk'nam of Tierra del Fuego. Ed. Cambridge University press, 1982.



Anahí Lazzaroni, (1957, La Plata) Desde su infancia reside en Ushuaia, donde ha publicado tres libros de poemas:Viernes de acrílico (1977), Liberen a la libélula (1980), Dibujos (Ediciones Revista Aldea, 1988), y En esta ciudad se escribirá una novela (prosa, Ediciones Revista Aldea, 1989). Ha fundado y codirigido la revista "Aldea". Adress: Anahí Lazzaroni, Gobernador Campos 262. (9410) Ushuaia, REPUBLICA ARGENTINA
Casualidad

(Fragmento de un escrito del salesiano Antonio Tonelli, quien llegara a la ciudad de Río Grande en 1910, en Belza, Juan Esteban: En la isla del fuego. Vol. II. "Colonización". Capítulo 3: "Las corrientes colonizadoras", pág 60.)