Faerr To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: In this section, he argues that unchecked democracy is bad for the development of culture in any society, because it inevitably ushers in utilitarianism and barbarism. Having insatiable curiosity they have made education an institution of greater worth esteem than prosperity, and by their ingenuity englis labor have mastered means which in turn they have bestowed on the rest of the world. Ariel is beautiful, graceful, and noble, while Caliban is coarse and barbarous, he explains. Art is then a form of learning that finds and enriches the spirit and negates utilitarianism.
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Jose Enrique Rodo called for a culture that would preserve traditional European standards of morality and beauty while rejecting North American values.
Intellectuals were deeply and often bitterly divided. But another group saw the easy victory of the United States over a former world power as indisputable evidence of political, economic and even cultural superiority and so rushed to imitate North American institutions. In either case, Latin Americans were ready for the infusion of pride, optimism and vision Rodo provided. With the present English translation, it has now reached its 16th edition.
The opening of the essay is heavy with symbolism. Dominating the room is a bronze statue of Ariel, wings unfolded and poised for flight. Once seated, Prospero calls upon Ariel for divine inspiration and begins.
Rodo made his plea for Latin American idealism and spiritualism so fervently because he considered them to be under sustained attack, primarily from the forces of utilitarianism, materialism and democracy.
Democracy was dangerous because it naturally destroyed excellence and encouraged mediocrity. As Rodo looked about, he could hardly help but notice that his three evils were flourishing most conspicuously in the United States. Consequently, he entreated his readers to resist influences from the North.
In a sense, it is like a Platonic dialogue in that it has a setting in which the main personage speaks, but is unlike a dialogue in that there is no give and take. So we may call it a platonical monologue. The nature of the work is contemplative and philosophical. At that time he saw the achievements of western civilization threatened in his country by the industrialized materialism emanating from the United States. Against the encroaching materialism, and especially the admiration of the young in South America for such dominating materialism, he offers this essay: an attempt to win hearts and minds toward more spiritual, lofty, nobler ideals than those of the cult of utility and material prosperity with no regard for the good, the true and the beautiful.
José Enrique Rodó
It banishes depths of evil by proscribing heights of goodness. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last edited on 17 Decemberat Let me urge you, if you know Spanish, to find and read. For him, disinterested motives are the highest: It is a good book. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
ARIEL RODO ENGLISH PDF