The End of the World as They Knew it: Writing Experiences of the Argentine South

The End of the World as They Knew It maps the shifting constructions of the space of the South in Argentine discourses of identity, nation, and self-fashioning. In works by Domingo F. Sarmiento, Lucio V. Mansilla, Francisco P. Moreno, Jorge Luis Borges, Ricardo Piglia, and Cesar Aira, Eva-Lynn Alicia Jagoe examines how representations of the South - as primitive, empty, violent, or a place of potential - inform Argentine liberal ideology. Part of this process entails the reception of travel narratives by Francis Bond Head, Charles Darwin, and W.H. Hudson, which served the purpose of ratifying the gaze of the criollo, and of appropriating the South through civilized discourses.Focusing on crucial moments in Argentine cultural history, such as the 1871 Conquest of the Desert and the military dictatorship of the 1970s, Jagoe compellingly argues that these intensely experiential narrations of the South are inextricably linked to questions of collective memory and the construction of an Argentine history and tradition. Well written and thoroughly researched, The End of the World as They Knew It will appeal to scholars of Argentine literature and culture, as well as those interested in travel writing and nation building.