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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"Faust" by Estanislao Del Campo. Translated by Walter Owen.
Buenos Aires, Argentina (Mitchells Bookstore), 1942.
Pp. xiv+104. Illustrations.
Estanislao Del Campo (1795-1880), author of a Spanish
account of Gounod's opera on Goethe's Faust, ranks in Argentine
gaucho literature second only to Jos6 HernAndez, whose Martin
Fierro (as translated by Walter Owen) I reviewed in April,
1941 (S. W. H. Q., XLIV, 526). It is, again, Mr. Walter Owen
who adapts this Argentine classic to English verse, who pre-
cedes his translation with eight pages of choice introductory
comments, and who follows the text with sixteen pages of
notes on literary and historical materials. This English ver-
sion of Del Campo's Faust is an attractive example of book-
making and is equipped with illustrations by the Argentine
artist, Mr. Enrique J. Rapela.
What we have here is Del Campo donning the personality
of El Pollo to retell the narrative of Gounod's opera to another
gaucho named Laguna. One large effect of Del Campo's art
is to place us in approximate rapport with the gaucho's un-
fettered emotions and individual psychology. In total effect
there is the naive reaction of a somewhat primitive mind of
the New World to the sophisticated culture of the Old.
Throughout this Faust the lore of the Argentine gauchos
recalls the folkways of the cowboys and vaqueros of the Texas-
Mexico borderland.
Del Campo's Faust casts valuable light on the history of the
gauchos-their beliefs and superstitions, their open manners
and racy language. Mr. Owen thus presents a welcome addition
to the library of Argentine masterpieces now in the English
language; and since his translation was executed to promote
"between peoples of different speech the friendly interchange of
thought and feeling," it is also good tonic for an ailing world.
Texas Technological College


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 2, 2016.

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