In Argentina, as indeed in all of Latin America, the first literary productions are chronicles of the conquest and colonization of the region. Throughout the Baroque period, Argentine literature lived a reflected life and did not have any names of great importance (the first poet was L. de Tejeda, 1604-1680). The neoclassical currents filtered through the already late experience of the Spaniards bear fruit only at the end of the 18th century. (MJ de Lavardén, who lived in the second half of the century, is the happiest poet of his generation). At the beginning of the 19th century. literature is still a reflection of an eighteenth-century rationalism and is largely subservient to revolutionary ideals (V. López y Planes, E. de Luca, M. Moreno); of some artistic interest the production of J. Cruz Varela. From about 1830 the direct influence of French romanticism contributed to creating the break from cultural subjection to Spain (E. Echeverría in particular is oriented by European experiences towards an indigenous literature). The Asociación de Mayo (founded in 1838) contributes to the formation of a nucleus of young people who, having assimilated the new ideologies, will greatly influence the political and cultural life of the country (FD Sarmiento, JB Alberdi, B. Miter, JM Gutiérrez). In the group ‘of the proscribed’, enemies of JM de Rosas, two figures of romantic poets emerge: H. Ascasubi and J. Mármol. Towards 1880 the mainspring of political interests loosened and on the one hand there was a pause for critical reflection and on the other the evolution of Gauchesque poetry in an art form (Martín Fierro by J. Hernández). At the same time, the first repercussions of French naturalism appear (for example, the novels of E. Cambaceres).
According to Andyeducation, at the beginning of the 20th century, R. Darío’s ‘modernism’ bears fruit (the most perspicuous echo in L. Lugones for poetry and E. Larreta for prose). In the break of relaxation that followed the First World War, the Argentina and Buenos Aires in particular are fertile ground for avant-garde currents (JL Borges, R. Molinari, C. Mastronardi), while some writers (such as R. Güiraldes) take up the traditionalist vein, albeit with superstructures drawn from the world of European culture. Borges’ first verse books date back to this period, from Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923) to Cuaderno San Martín (1929), in which the most mature poetry of’Obra poética (1966). Other notable poets are E. Banchs, FL Bernárdez, L. Marechal and Argentina Storni. The field of narrative production is more articulated, in which the figures of E. Mallea, E. Sábato and Borges stand out, which owes its international fame above all to the prose work (the labyrinthine and lucid tales, or Ficciones, 1944). To these prose writers, as well as to European and American models, the writers of the next generation are linked. Borges, in particular, is linked to the imaginative writing of J. Cortazár and Argentina Bioy Casares, while skilled manipulators of cinematographic myths are M. Puig and O. Soriano .
Since the 1970s, the narrative has focused on political themes and is characterized by a vein with a strong realist and militant approach, also open to the forms of journalistic inquiry, reporting of denunciation, diary (M. Traba, M. Lynch, L. Valenzuela, D. Moyano). On the other hand, in the footsteps of a consolidated tradition, the fusion of history and fiction, of realistic and fantastic elements continues to be cultivated, widely testified, for example, by the works of Argentina Posse, P. Orgambide and especially O Soriano. The contamination does not only affect literary genres, but extends to language: the linguistic codes of cinema, radio, tango, comics, but also the more refined one of psychoanalysis, pervade the pages of many writers, in particular of M. Puig. A large group of authors has moved along the line of linguistic experimentation since the 1960s, investigating the problems of writing and the limits of narrative and language techniques (M. Denevi, Argentina Rivera, H. Bianciotti).
In the field of poetry, the work of E. Molina and O. Orozco, born from the encounter between surrealism, avant-garde currents and American tradition, evolved along more personal lines in the 1980s. A similar evolution towards a more intimate lyricism also marks the production of poets initially dedicated to a socially committed poetry, stylistically rigorous, although not extraneous to colloquial tones (C. Fernández Moreno, F. Urondo, J. Gelman, H. Salas, Argentina Liberman). We should also remember Argentina Girri and R. Juarroz: the first, in verses of great expressive freedom, analyzes the desperate irreconcilability of matter and spirit, the other subjects the poetic word to research that stands out for its coherence and unity. Among the female voices, it occupies a prominent place S. Ocampo, alongside Argentina Pizarnik, E. Azcona Cromwell, L. Futoransky, D. Bellesi, E. Cerro. From the end of the 1980s, metapoetic reflection and attention to language dominate the new trends, both in the direction of the assembly of variegated codes (from video clips, to cinema, to music), as happens in the verses of D. Freidenberg, JR Aulicino, M. Prieto and D. García Helder, both in the tendency to an omnipotent use of the poetic word, freed from its referential meaning. The greatest exponent of the latter trend was N. Perlongher.
In the post-war theater, authors such as C. Gorostiza, Argentina Betti, Argentina Cuzzani, proponents of scenic renewal and the overcoming of neorealism, together with G. Gámbaro and E. Pavlovsky, instead on the line of the theater of the absurd, they dominate the scene for a long time, giving life to a theater that combines avant-garde trends with socio-political problems. Since 1976, the military regime has censored many texts and forbids any explicit political reference. If on the one hand the return to democracy deprives the theater of the role of critical conscience and resistance assumed during the dictatorship, on the other it represents a phase of renewal, with the affirmation of names such as JC Badillo, C. Vittoriello, E. Fierro.