Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-gq7q9 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-21T17:37:37.267Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

On the Heels of Juan Moreira: Lessons for the Cultural History of Reading

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


Between November 1879 and January 1880, the argentine author Eduardo Gutierrez published a serialized narrative of the life of Juan Moreira in the Buenos Aires newspaper La Patria Argentina. Titled simply Juan Moreira, the heroic tale of the real-life outlaw went like this: Moreira was a good gaucho gone bad, who fought to preserve his honor against the backdrop of modernizing forces that were transforming life in this part of South America. His string of crimes and ultimate downfall resulted from his unjust persecution by corrupt state officials. The success of the serial surpassed all expectations. The paper's sales skyrocketed, and the melodramatic narrative soon appeared in book form. Enterprising printers produced tens of thousands of authorized and pirated editions to sell in the Rio de la Plata (Argentina and Uruguay), making Juan Moreira a leading example of everyday reading for the region's rapidly growing literate population and one of Latin America's pre-twentieth-century bestsellers (Acree, Everyday Reading; Gutiérrez, The Gaucho Juan Moreira).

Theories and Methodologies New Geographies of Reading
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Works Cited

Acree, William G. Jr. Everyday Reading: Print Culture and Collective Identity in the Rio de la Plata, 17801910. Vanderbilt UP, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Acree, William G. Jr. “Hemispheric Travelers on the Rioplatense Stage”. Latin American Theatre Review, vol. 47, no. 2, Spring 2014, pp. 524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chasar, Mike. Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America. Columbia UP, 2012.Google Scholar
Chasteen, John Charles. “Violence for Show: Knife Dueling on a Nineteenth-Century Cattle Frontier”. The Problem of Order in Changing Societies: Essays on Crime and Policing in Argentina and Uruguay, edited by Johnson, Lyman L., U of New Mexico P, 1990, pp. 4764.Google Scholar
Dimock, Wai Chee. “A Theory of Resonance”. PMLA, vol. 112, no. 5, Oct. 1997, pp. 1060–71.Google Scholar
Direccion General de Estadistica Municipal. Anuario Estadistico de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, año 13, 1903, Compañía Sud-Americana de Billetes de Banco, 1904, pp. 239–73. Google Play, Scholar
Gikandi, Simon. “his Thing Called Literature… What Work Does It Do?PMLA, vol. 127, no. 1, Jan. 2012, pp. 921.Google Scholar
Gutierrez, Eduardo. The Gaucho Juan Moreira: True Crime in Nineteenth-Century Argentina. Edited by Acree, William G. Jr., translated by Chasteen, John Charles, Hackett, 2014.Google Scholar
Gutierrez, Eduardo. Juan Moreira. Circa 1879–80. Prologue by Laera, Alejandra, Editorial Sol 90, 2001.Google Scholar
El Heraldo de Madrid. 28 July 1900, p. 3. Biblioteca Nacional de Espana, Scholar
Hofmeyr, Isabel. The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim's Progress. Princeton UP, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hutcheon, Linda, with O'Flynn, Siobhan. A Theory of Adaptation. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2013.Google Scholar
Iris [Barcelona]. 21 July 1900, p. 18. Biblioteca Nacional de España, Scholar
Kasson, Joy S. Buffalo Bill's Wild West : Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History. Hill and Wang, 2000.Google Scholar
Lehmann-Nitsche, Robert. “La leyenda de Santos Vega: Documentos para la sociologia argentina”. Anales de la Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales, vol. 2, Buenos Aires, 1916, pp. 192263.Google Scholar
Lenchantin, José Antonio. Moreira en ópera. Guillermo Kraft, 1897.Google Scholar
Levine, Lawrence. Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America. Harvard UP, 1988.Google Scholar
McCleary, Kristen. “Popular, Elite, and Mass Culture? The Spanish Zarzuela in Buenos Aires, 1890–1900”. Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, vol. 21, 2002, pp. 127.Google Scholar
Montaldo, Graciela. Museo del consumo: Archivos de la cultura de masas en Argentina. Fondo de Cultura Economica, 2016.Google Scholar
Nasaw, David. Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements. Harvard UP, 1999.Google Scholar
Navarro Viola, Alberto. Anuario bibliográfico de la República Argentina, ano II 1880. Imprenta de M. Biedma, 1881.Google Scholar
Nelson, Garrett Dash. A Place Altogether: Planning and the Search for Unit Landscapes, 1816–1956. 2016. U of Wisconsin, PhD dissertation.Google Scholar
Podestá, José J. Medio siglo de farándula: Memorias de José J. Podestá. Edited by Pellettieri, Osvaldo, Galerna/Instituto Nacional de Teatro, 2003.Google Scholar
Prieto, Adolfo. El discurso criollista en la formación de la Argentina moderna. 1988. Siglo XXI Editores, 2006.Google Scholar
Quesada, Ernesto. “El ‘criollismo’ en la literatura argentina”. En torno al criollismo: Textos y polémicas, edited by Rubione, Alfredo V.E., Centro Editor de América Latina, 1983, pp. 103230.Google Scholar
Rossi, Vicente. Teatro nacional rioplatense. Solar, 1969.Google Scholar
Seibel, Beatriz. Historia del circo. Ediciones del Sol, 2005.Google Scholar
Seigel, Micol. “Cocoliche's Romp: Fun with Nationalism at Argentina's Carnival.” TDR, vol. 44, no. 2, Summer 2000, pp. 5683.Google Scholar
El Siglo [Montevideo]. 30 Mar. 1894, p. 1.Google Scholar
Tally, Robert T. Jr., editor. Literary Cartographies: Spatiality, Representation, and Narrative. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vega, Carlos. Apuntes para la historia del movimiento tradicionalista argentino. Secretaria de Cultura de la Presidencia de la Nacion/Instituto Nacional de Musicología “Carlos Vega,” 1981.Google Scholar
Warf, Barney, and Arias, Santa, editors. The Spatial Turn: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Routledge, 2009.Google Scholar