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Revista Interamericana de Bibliografía (RIB)
Número: 2
Título: 1998


1. On Anna Dickinson, see Chester 1951, Hamand Venet 1991. Miss Dickinson’s early oratorical style was described this way by James McPherson (1964: 128): “Her rapid-fire manner of delivery, her simple, direct style, her withering sarcasm, and the novelty of a teen-ager attacking political leaders nearly three times her age left audiences gasping and cheering.” Writing to Mary Mann from Buenos Aires in 1870, Sarmiento delights in having found in United States newspapers “los nombres de mis conocidos, Emerson, Miss Peabody, Petroleum Nasby, Ana? la de la lectura, the idiots and women!” (Luiggi 1952: 356; see also Sarmiento 1900: 209). “The idiots and the Women” was one of Miss Dickinson’s speeches in favor of female suffrage. Sarmiento used the word “lecturas” to refer to the public lectures which he frequently attended in the United States. Sarmiento and Varela favored a literacy requirement for voting rights.
2. There is divided opinion about Varela’s command of spoken English prior to his United States trip. Manacorda (1948: 77-78) points out Varela’s translations of passages of The Anglo-American Times of London in December 1867, and states that in the United States “como [Varela] domina el idioma se maneja sin dificultades.” However, Bartolito Mitre, who along with Sarmiento saw Varela almost on a daily basis in the United States, wrote to Sarmiento in 1885 that: “La prodigiosa rapidez y facilidad con que José Pedro Varela aprendió a leer en inglés —porque hablándolo no llegó nunca pasar mucho más allá de la habilidad de Vd.— confirmó la fe que ya tenía yo en la eficacia para ese objeto de la lectura de los diarios” (1969[1885]: 677).
3. Sarmiento’s writings during his second United States visit provided a similar viewpoint: “Una mujer pensadora es un escándalo” (1899: 217). The Argentine had written shortly after his first visit: “Puede juzgarse el grado de civilización de un pueblo por la posición social de la mujer” (1950: 120). In his own Diario de un viaje, written in 1868 during his return to Buenos Aires, Sarmiento wondered about the gender of the robust and rather masculine Juana Manso (1820-1875), his Argentine female colleague in education: “La Manso, a quien apenas conocí, fue el único hombre en tres o cuatro millones de habitantes en Chile i Arjentina que comprendiese mi obra de educación . . . ¿Era una mujer?” (1944: 31). Compare Varela’s observations that “[En los Estados Unidos] la mujer es un hombre; medita y filosofa como él. . . Los Estados Unidos son una nación formada por hombres de dos sexos, en la que jamás se encuentra una mujer” (1945: 104, 119).
4. On Sarmiento’s use of external entities as cultural symbols, see Zalazar 1986: 157, Verdevoye 1964: 95, Katra 1988: 42.
5. On the life and work of Henry Barnard, see Steiner 1919, McClintock 1970, Downs 1977, MacMullen 1991; on the United States Department of Education, see Warren 1974; on Latin-American interest in the AJE, see Thursfield 1945: 302; for the correspondence between Sarmiento and Barnard, see Luigi 1952. Sarmiento’s paper “The Dignity of the Schoolmaster’s Work” appeared in AJE, XVI, 65-74. Mary Mann’s review of Las escuelas appears in the same volume of the journal (“Educational Lessons for South America: Drawn from the Experience of the United States,” 533-38) as does her biographical sketch of Sarmiento (593-98).
6. One wonders to what extent Varela’s apolitical stance reflected his awareness of the frustrations of President Sarmiento in Argentina. Echoing Sarmiento’s self-description as a mere “maestro de escuela,” Varela wrote: “Yo no soy en mi tierra sino educacionista. Prescindo de la política porque la política compromete el progreso de la escuela” (quoted in Lasplaces 1944: 141).
7. On the extended polemic between Varela and Carlos María Ramírez (1847-1898) see Ardao’s “Prólogo” to Varela 1964a. Sarmiento’s comment on Spencer might be remembered at this point: “Con Spencer me entiendo, porque andamos el mismo camino” (quoted in Ardao 1950: 79).
8. The Varela version is lengthier than that of the AJE; this fact, and the chronology of the two journals, suggest a different source, perhaps the 1872-1874 English translation of Anna C. Brackett.
9. The author wishes to express his gratitude to the Marquette University Committee on Research, Graduate School, and Gettel Research Fund, which supported travel to the Museo Histórico Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 1997 and March 1998.