Fiction Map of the World- Argentina

by Travelbag on 23 February 2015, 17:02PM

This South American hotspot is not to be missed.  Argentina is becoming a more and more popular for holiday jet setters offering humid jungles, glorious glaciers and striking landscapes. Our cultural exploration takes us to Argentina as we take a look at the people who creatively shaped this great country.


Essential Holiday Reading
There is perhaps no bigger author to represent Argentina’s rich literary history than Jorge Luis Borges. Argentina’s most acclaimed writer, whose works have become 20th century classics, created poems and short stories that provided new astounding perspectives of the modern world. To perfectly accompany your Argentine enlightenment check out ‘Ficciones’. The book is a collection of stories that allow you to enter the mind of Borges, wherein lies the genius of the man. This bizarre journey into his obsession with fantasy offers a compelling read that switches between imagination and reality.

Notable Argentine Books
As you’ll have gathered from above, being regarded as one of the top authors to grace Argentina, Borges has more than one great book to his name. Two of his other short stories that are fascinating reads are titled ‘The Aleph’ & ‘Labyrinths’. If you’re a person who likes to further educate your knowledge and you prefer a more factual insight in the country’s history then ‘The Argentina Reader’ is your best option. Composed by two professors, this book introduces you to the mystery that is Argentina. The text is an ultimate overview of Argentina’s full history and how it entered the 21st century with a failing economy and corruption in its political parties. Despite it being a large read, boasting an impressive 600 pages, there’s no better work on the complete history of this intriguing country. For readers who enjoy time to wonder and reflect, ‘Hopscoth’ by Julio Cortazar would be a terrific read during your down time.


Notable Argentine Authors
Argentina’s most notable authors and poets include Manuel Puig (Kiss of Spider Woman), Adolfo Bioy Casares (The Invention of Morel) and the more recent Tomas Eloy Martinez (The Tango Singer). With Argentina only becoming a fully united entity separate from Spain in the 1850s, the struggle between the two clashing parties (for and against the change) set the tone for early literature. Author Jose Hernandez work is well valued around this time with his book ‘Martin Fierro’ being the stand out texture. With its vast history of talented authors dating back to its first literary source: Martin del Barco Centenera’s poem ‘La Argentina’ (1602), the country displays a strong capability for producing great writers who have created concepts and works that are still widely respected to this day.


Notable Argentine Films
Throughout the 20th century, Argentine cinema has quickly risen to be one of the major film industries in the Spanish-speaking world. In 2009 the country produced the highest number of films in its history and due to the talent of its directors and actors, it was that same year that we saw the country win an Oscar for the film, ‘El Secreto de sus Ojos’ (The secret in their eyes). With an unresolved case still haunting lead character Benjamin after 25 years, the movie though not rich in action is a gripping and touching tale. ‘La Historia Official’ (The official story, 1985) is another Academy Award winning movie for Argentina. It’s based on real events during the dictatorship days between 1976-83 and this Golden Globe winning film provides a moving insight into the violent past of the country’s history. There are many other great Argentine films such as ‘Nueve Reinas’, ‘El Hombre De Al Lado’, ‘Waiting for the Hearse’ that you should try and for a more recent picture why watch ‘Wild Tales’. 


Essential Holiday Listening
Regarded as a legend throughout Latin America, Carlos Gardel was and is still celebrated as one of the icons of Tango. Known as El Zorzal Criollo, the songbird of Buenos Aires, this is the artist that you have to listen to, in order to truly capture Argentina and all of its glorious culture. A pioneer in the genre, this charismatic singer gained mass amounts of popularity in New York and Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. The beloved performer had his career unfortunately cut short in 1935 when he sadly lost his life in a plane crash whilst on tour. Gardel instantly became immortalized as one of the greats and his devoted fans keep his legacy going by playing his music throughout the streets of Buenos Aires today. Tracks such as, ‘Mi Buenos Aires Querido’, ‘Volver’ and ‘Por Una Cabeza’ take you back to the glory days of the past, putting you not only in the heart of Argentina but also in the heart of Gardel.


Notable Argentine Musicians
Tango is the musical symbol of Argentina’s culture but it isn’t the only genre the country is known for. Folk music has great influence within it borders not to mention classical music and Argentine rock, the most popular music for the younger listeners. Artist Charley Garcia, a rock icon who is still performing today has had a phenomenally successful career. Enjoying huge popularity in bands ‘Sui Generis’ and ‘Seru Giran’, Garcia began his magnificent solo career in 1982 immediately selling out huge stadiums for his concerts. You should start with two of the most famous songs from his solo era: ‘Yendo de la cama al living’ and ‘Yo no quiero volverme tan loco’, which is a song about teenage rebellion. If it’s something a little calmer you’re after then legend Mercedes Sosa may be more to your liking. Described as an ‘electrifying voice of conscience’, Sosa led the Nueva Cancion movement, using folk inspired and socially committed music to play a powerful role in highlighting the repressed, the poor and the social upheavals going on in Latin America in the 70s and 80s. With her captivating and amazing voice it was no wonder it led her to amazing collaborative performances with artists such as Sting, Pavarotti and Shakira. If you want to give her a listen then try the outstanding albums ‘Romance de la Muerte de Juan Lavalle’ and ‘Mujeres Argentinas’.

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