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This short story, which Echevarría wrote in 1839 but wasn't published until 1971, is one of the major works of the Argentine romantic writer and a milestone in the history of Latin American literature. A political allegory of the clash between civilization and barbarism in Argentina, the work alludes to the brutality with which the dictatorship of Juan Manuel Rosas repressed its opponents. But beyond the idiosyncratic reading, the story acts as a precursor of universal themes that reappear literature, such as the masses as a political instrument and tyranny and populism.

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