Rojas, Ricardo (1882–1957)

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Rojas, Ricardo (1882–1957)

Ricardo Rojas (b. 16 September 1882; d. 29 July 1957), Argentine intellectual, historian, and educator. Born in the northern provincial city of Tucumán, Rojas came to Buenos Aires in 1899 to study law, as did many other provincial intellectuals of his generation. He never completed his studies at law school but began to devote himself exclusively to literature, publishing his first poems in 1903.

The patriarch of Argentine letters, Rojas cultivated all literary genres, with the grandeur and uniqueness of the Americas as a common thread. Yet it is as a humanist that he made his most lasting contribution to an understanding of Argentina at the deepest intellectual and cultural levels. The spirit of argentinidad, or awareness of a national identity within the wider context of the Americas as a civilization, dominated his thinking. In such works as Blasón de plata (Silver Blazon, 1912) and Eurindia (1924), Rojas proclaimed the essential greatness of Argentina and all Hispanic America as deriving from a symbiosis of European and indigenous cultures.

In 1912 Rojas became the first professor of Argentine literature at the University of Buenos Aires. Then, in 1922, he founded the Instituto de Literatura Argentina, and for twenty-five years was its inspiration and guiding force. He served as chancellor of the university from 1926 to 1930. Between 1917 and 1921, Rojas published his monumental Historia de la literatura Argentina, which is as much an exegesis of Argentine culture as a remarkable account of Argentine literature from colonial times to the modern period.

Rojas also played an important role in Argentine politics. It was through his efforts to form a new political party that the Liga Patriótica was formed in 1919. In 1930, with the fall of President Hipólito Yrigoyen, Rojas supported the Unión Cívica Radical (Popular Radical Party) in its struggle against the power of the oligarchy. As a consequence of his outspoken opposition to the Juan Perón regime (1946–1955), Rojas suffered persecution and the loss of his university position.

See alsoArgentina, Political Parties: Radical Party (UCR); Literature: Spanish America.


Ismael Moya, Ricardo Rojas (1961).

Earl T. Glauert, "Ricardo Rojas and the Emergence of Argentine Cultural Nationalism," in Hispanic American Historical Review 43, no. 1 (1963): 1-13.

Alfredo De La Guardia, Ricardo Rojas, 1882–1957 (1967).

Martin S. Stabb, In Quest of Identity: Patterns in the Spanish American Essay of Ideas, 1890–1960 (1967), pp. 61-63, 147-149.

Additional Bibliography

Castillo, Horacio. Ricardo Rojas. Buenos Aires: Academia Argentina de Letras, 1999.

                                    Myron I. Lichtblau

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