Go Home / Ir a la página inicial
Sojourner Books
Leopoldo Lugones - Horacio Quiroga - Ricardo Guiraldes - Manuel Gutiérrez Nájeras - Baldomero Lillo - Eduardo Gutiérrez

Leopoldo Lugones

Leopoldo Lugones (1874-1938) was an Argentine writer and poet; he belonged to the modernist school and was one of the most influent writers and the forerunner of fantastic short histories in Latin America.

Jorge Luis Borges appreciated the work of Lugones and said about him:

"The literature of America still feeds on the work of this great writer; writing well is, for many, writing in the manner of Lugones. From ultraism to our time, his inevitable influence continues to grow and transform. This influence is so general that to be a disciple of Lugones, it is not necessary to have read him."

His mark was so deep that the day of his birth (June 13) is celebrated as the day of the writer in Argentina.

The Gaucho War

montonera gauchos Latin America Argentina liberation freedom fighters

The Gaucho War

Leopoldo Lugones

182 pages / 6 x 9 inches

The Gaucho War is the name given to the struggle of militias and guerrillas carried out in the Northwest of Argentina, in the province of Salta, against the royalist armies during the War of Independence of Argentina (1810-1824), during the period between 1814 and 1825.

By the beginning of the 19th century, this sector had a strong Spanish presence as it acted as a border between the Viceroyalty of the River Plate and the Viceroyalty of Upper Peru. There, the new central government in Buenos Aires had sent the lawyer Manuel Belgrano to lead the troops against the royalist militias. With some progress to his credit and two major defeats, Belgrano withdrew the revolutionary troops to Jujuy and was replaced by Güemes, who started the Gaucho War.

It was a long series of almost daily clashes; mostly just short skirmishes followed by retreats. Under these conditions, poorly disciplined and ill-equipped forces, but supported by the population, did much damage to the invading Spanish army.

Lugones describes that struggle in twenty-two stories, using anonymous heroes and martyrs. The last story commemorates Martín Miguel de Güemes, the military leader who protected the north of Argentina from the royalist invasion.

The irregular military formations fighting the Spanish were known as “montoneras”. It is believed that the terms “montonero” and “montoneras” are due to the fact that these men marched “in a heap” (in Spanish would be “en montón”), that is disorganized; they gathered and dispersed “in the mountains” (“montes”) and generally fought “mounted” (“montados”).

Like “montoneras”, some other Spanish words couldn’t be translated properly, because there are not English words for them, in such cases the Spanish words were not translated, but its meaning is explained in the Glossary, at the end of this book. Also, the first time any of such words appears, its meaning is explained in a footnote, after that, whenever it shows up again, it appears underlined, to signify that it is included in the Glossary.

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.com USA

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.co.uk UK

Strange Forces and Fatal Tales

anthology modernism Latin America Argentina

Strange Forces and Fatal Tales

Leopoldo Lugones

160 pages / 6 x 9 inches

This volume comprises two collections of short stories of Leopoldo Lugones: Stranger Forces (Las Fuerzas Extrañas) and Fatal Tales (Cuentos Fatales).

Strange Forces was published in 1906, although most of the twelve stories that it contains were published previously in different newspapers, between 1897 and 1906. They are fantastic stories that mix scientific elements with biblical and legendary myths, combining erudition, irony and fantasy in an unlikely mixture.

We have included all twelve stories of that volume, with the exception of the Essay on a Cosmogony in Ten Lessons, which forms the second part of the original publication.

Fatal Tales was published in 1924, it gathers five stories that appeared in the newspaper La Nación between 1923 and 1924. All stories share the common note indicated by the adjective of the title: "fatality", as an inescapable force that seems to determine actions and defines the final outcome.

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.com USA

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.co.uk UK

Juan Moreira

gauchos pampa Latin America Argentina

Juan Moreira

Eduardo Gutiérrez

310 pages / 6 x 9 inches

SPANISH/ENGLISH BILINGUAL EDITION

Juan Moreira is presented as a bilingual, Spanish/English book, with side-by-side texts.

Juan Moreira is a classic gaucho novel by the Argentine writer Eduardo Gutiérrez, published as a serial history between November 1879 and January 1880 in the newspaper La Patria Argentina. It is inspired by a real police chronicle starring the legendary gaucho Juan Moreira, who was killed by the police in Lobos, in 1874. It is one of the most important texts of Argentine literature and Hispano-American romanticism.

As far as I know, there is only one other English translation of this book, made by John Charles Chasteen and published by Hackett under the title El Gaucho Juan Moreira. This translation is very different from Chasteen’s, since instead of shortening and adapting the text to make it more pleasing to the English reader, my goal was to keep this translation as close as possible to the original, without sacrificing its legibility.

Some words couldn’t be translated properly, because there are not English words for them, in such cases the Spanish word was left as it was, but we explain its meaning in the Glossary and/or in footnotes. All words included in the Glossary are underlined.

I hope this bilingual translation can help English readers to understand better this classic work of the Latin-American literature. Also this book is useful for students of Spanish, to learn Spanish through reading, since the side-by-side presentation of the Spanish and English texts, makes it easy following the original Spanish text.

The Translator

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.com USA

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.co.uk UK

Don Segundo Sombra

gauchos pampa Latin America Argentina

Don Segundo Sombra

Ricardo Güiraldes

240 pages / 6 x 9 inches

SPANISH/ENGLISH BILINGUAL EDITION

Don Segundo Sombra is presented as a bilingual, Spanish/English book, with side-by-side texts.

This book shows how a rebellious teenager transforms himself into a gaucho of the pampas, under the guidance of Don Segundo Sombra, the image of the ideal gaucho. The gauchos loved their freedom, they were nomads who wandered through the fields, at a time when there were no fences and wild cattle abounded, which allowed them to live off the land. The only looked for temporary work in a ranch, when they needed some money.

The figure of the gaucho always appears linked to the horse; they were excellent riders and wranglers.

When the fields were wired and the railway connected the pampas with the rest of the country, well into the 19th century, the gaucho lost his freedom and the way of life portrayed in this book came to an end.

The original edition of Don Segundo Sombra doesn’t have a Table of Contents because although the book is divided in 27 chapters, they have no titles. To help readers locate easily the different parts of this book we added a TOC with titles for each chapter, but such titles are no part of the original book.

There are two other English translations of this book, the 1935 translation by Harriet de Onís, published by Signet in 1966, with an afterword by herself and the 1995 translation by Patricia Owen Steiner, accompanied by extensive critical materials, published by the University of Pittsburgh.

Both translations, although very good, are out of print but also, they were not written by people familiarized with the gaucho culture of Argentina, which made them not very faithful to the original text.

Don Segundo Sombra was written by an educated man who used the real language spoken by the gauchos of the XIX century; this complicates the translation of this book because it is full of colloquialisms and jargon. This translation is the first one written by an Argentinean, familiar with the culture and the gaucho slang of the time.

Some words couldn’t be translated properly, because there are not English words for them, in such cases the Spanish word was not translated, but its meaning is explained in the Glossary. All words included in the Glossary are underlined.

Also, the same words can mean different things in different places and times, those Spanish words who don’t have the normal meaning in the time and place of this story (the province of Buenos Aires, in some moment of the XIX century), also were underlined in the Spanish text and added to the Glossary.

We hope this bilingual translation can help English readers to understand better this classic work of the Latin-American literature. Also this book is useful for students of Spanish, to learn Spanish through reading, since the side-by-side presentation of the Spanish and English texts, makes it easy following the original Spanish text.

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.co.uk UK

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.ca Canada

Tales of Love of Madness and of Death / Cuentos de Amor de Locura y de Muerte

antología sobrenatural fantasmas cuentos Horacio Quiroga

Tales of Love of Madness and of Death / Cuentos de Amor de Locura y de Muerte

Horacio Quiroga

214 pages / 6 x 9 inches

SPANISH/ENGLISH BILINGUAL EDITION

This book is a collection of 18 weird tales by the famous Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga.

Most of the stories are dark and strange and describe situations that offer no clear way out for the protagonist, who in some cases is an animal (as in three stories, although they are not for children). Some stories are set in the countryside and others in the city, both showing the lives of the poor and disinherited but also of the most favored members of society.

Quiroga portrays sharply the social miseries and limitations of the protagonists, which often end up deciding their final destiny. Irony mingles freely with social denunciations, love, madness and death.

Also this book is useful for students of Spanish, to learn Spanish through reading, since the side-by-side presentation of the Spanish and English texts, makes it easy following the original Spanish text.

The tales presented in this book are:

  • Una Estación de Amor / A Station of Love
  • Los Ojos Sombríos / The Shady Eyes
  • El Solitario / The Solitaire
  • La Muerte de Isolda / The Death of Isolde
  • El Infierno Artificial / Artificial Hell
  • La Gallina Degollada / The Decapitated Chicken
  • Los Buques Suicidantes / Suicidal Ships
  • El Almohadón de Plumas / The Feather Pillow
  • El Perro Rabioso / The Rabid Dog
  • A la Deriva / Drifting
  • La Insolación / Insolation
  • El Alambre de Púa / The Barbed Wire
  • Los Mensú / The Mensú
  • Yaguaí
  • Los Pescadores de Vigas / The Beam Fishermen
  • La Miel Silvestre / Wild Honey
  • Nuestro Primer Cigarro / Our First Cigar
  • La Meningitis y su Sombra / Meningitis and its Shadow

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.com USA

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.co.uk UK

Sub Terra

miners plight social realism Latin America Chile

Sub Terra
Mining Scenes

Baldomero Lillo

116 pages / 6 x 9 inches

Sub Terra. Cuadros Mineros is the first work by the Chilean short-story writer Baldomero Lillo (1867-1923), published on July 12, 1904. In its first edition it was composed of eight stories, almost all of them set in the coal mines of Lota in the Province of Concepción. In the second edition, from 1917, other five stories were added, some of them with a different theme.

The book describes from various angles and characters the way coal miners lived and died, particularly those in the Lota mines in southern Chile, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, who worked from dawn to dusk in miserable conditions.

It is basically a description of life in the mine, and the life of its workers; it is also a critique of the exploiting power, which reduced the human condition of the miners to simple beasts. Lillo was considered the master of the genre of social realism in his country.

The first edition consisted of eight stories:

  • The Invalids
  • Gate Number 12
  • Firedamp
  • Payday
  • The Devil’s Pit
  • The Well
  • Juan Fariña
  • Big Game Hunting
Later, in the second edition, Lillo modified the text of several of the original stories and added:
  • The Search
  • The Drill
  • It was Him Alone...
  • The Attached Hand
  • Cañuela and Petaca

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.com USA

Buy or look inside the Kindle version at Amazon.com USA

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.co.uk UK

Buy or look inside the Kindle version at Amazon.co.uk UK

Gossamer Stories and Smoke-colored Stories

anthology modernism Latin America Mexico

Gossamer Stories and Smoke-colored Stories
(Cuentos frágiles y Cuentos color de humo)

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera

140 pages / 6 x 9 inches

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera (1859-1895) was a writer, poet, journalist and political figure. He was born and lived in Mexico City.

In his writings he blended romanticism, modernism and symbolism. He wrote under different pseudonyms alongside his writing career, which he begun at the age of thirteen.

Together with Carlos Díaz Dufóo, he founded Revista Azul, which was the diffuser of Modernism in Mexico.

He wrote poetry and many short stories as well; the book of stories Cuentos frágiles (Gossamer Stories) was the only one that he published in life (1883).

Most of his work was published in different newspapers and magazines. Due to his premature death as well as his willingness to use a wide range of pen names, most of Gutiérrez Nájera’s works were arranged into collections posthumously. He ordered with different criteria his writings for different newspapers and magazines: Sunday Stories, Smoke-colored Stories, Gold-colored Stories, Rain-colored Stories, etc. This has helped his editors to collect his histories in different books.

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera is defined as a “kind of smile of the soul” by his graceful style, elegant, delicate and with tenderness of feelings. His short stories show a world with plenty of suffering, but also irony and mockery.

This book contains his Cuentos frágiles (Gossamer Stories), with eighteen stories and Cuentos color de humo (Smoke-colored Stories), consisting of nine stories.

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.com USA

Buy or look inside the paperback version at Amazon.co.uk UK