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Culture and Management in the Americas$
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Alfredo Behrens

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804760140

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804760140.001.0001

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Literary Portrait of a Culture: Argentina

Literary Portrait of a Culture: Argentina

(p.220) Chapter 13 Literary Portrait of a Culture: Argentina
Culture and Management in the Americas
Stanford University Press

Literature is a useful indicator of market demand. A widely accepted novel implies a collective bond between author and reader, as well as revealing of public demand. The romance genre, in particular, provides a venue for highlighting “mythical, allegorical, and symbolist forms” that pervade a country's literary tradition. Drawing on the meaning of a traditional myth, this chapter offers an interpretation of the leadership relevance of Martin Fierro, a fictional gaucho immortalized by José Hernández in his 1872 epic rhymed poem, “Martin Fierro.” The gaucho, the frontiersman in an unfenced, cattle-rearing Argentina, would later become an Argentine brand. The gaucho was conferred with values that became identitary values for Argentines inasmuch as they represent an Argentine archetype. This chapter also looks at Ricardo Güiraldes's Don Segundo Sombra, which became a film in 1969, a year after Martin Fierro, and argues that the gaucho does not fit well into Geert Hofstede's four-dimensional grid except at its extremes of high individualism, low power distance, high masculinity, and low aversion to uncertainty.

Keywords:   gaucho, Argentina, Martin Fierro, literature, leadership, José Hernández, poem, archetype, Ricardo Güiraldes

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