Edited by Gustavo San Román . Published 2001. ISBN 9781900039369
José Enrique Rodó (1871-1917) is a key figure in the history of Latin American culture. His best known work is Ariel, an influential essay published a hundred years ago in his native Montevideo. Partly inspired by Spain’s defeat over Cuba and Puerto Rico two years earlier Ariel is the subcontinent’s foremost call for a concerted Latin Americanism to counter the cultural impact of the United States and has influenced later interpretations of that relationship. The essays gathered in this volume provide a complex view of Rodó: an idealist who praised aesthetics over practical issues of political import but also a cautious intellectual concerned with the moral uses of art; a conservative insufficiently sensitive to the plight of the native peoples of his subcontinent and yet one whose ideas not only engaged one of the sharpest minds in Spain Miguel de Unamuno but also provided inspiration to a remarkable British socialist Aneurin Bevan. These essays make a significant contribution to the current renewal of interest in the work of a writer whose message is likely to need further reinterpreting efforts well into the second centenary of Ariel.