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Chapter 3 Aguinis and the Essay: The Argentine Erasmus?

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Chapter Summary

Latin America was conquered by the Counter-Reformation, a colonizing institution that endowed the region with a legacy of intolerance to be cured by the envy of a model of modernity that was incompatible with diversity embodied by social and political parity. This chapter provides an analysis of the carefully chosen intellectual patrimony that contributed to Aguinis's mission of inserting himself into a global conversation of modernization that would render Argentina's circumstances historically significant, and would locate the Jewish incident within a wider national discussion. It presents a study of Aguinis's crafted message in the traditions of Erasmus, Neruda, and Freud, contextualized first within the legacy of the Latin American essay, and understood finally as a part of Aguinis's wider oeuvre in this genre. Anti-Semitism in Argentina can be traced from the Inquisition to the Argentine pogroms of the Semana Trágica in 1919, to restrictive immigration policies of the mid-twentieth century.

Keywords: Aguinis; Anti-Semitism; Argentina; Erasmus; intellectual patrimony; Latin America



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