Jose Enrique Rodo
Ariel (1922) is an essay by Jose Enrique Rodo. Originally published in Spanish in 1900, Ariel was translated into English just five years after the author's death by F. J. Stimson, the former U. S. Ambassador to Argentina. The essay was immediately influential in Uruguay and across Latin America as an essential document of modernismo, a literary movement which sought to unite classical values and contemporary culture through a devotion to beauty and form. "The gifts of the youthful spirit-enthusiasm and hope-correspond in the harmonies of history and natural history to movement and to light. Wherever you shall turn your eyes you will find these, the natural atmosphere in which move all things that are strong and beautiful." Captivated by a bronze statue of Ariel from Shakespeare's The Tempest, a teacher known as Prospero speaks passionately to his young students on the eve of summer vacation. Taking a historical view of human civilization, Jose Enrique Rodo applies the teachings of the Enlightenment to the political reality facing Latin America in the early twentieth century. Promoting morality and idealism over the encroaching utilitarianism of North America, Rodo crafted what one critic called "the ethical gospel of the Spanish-speaking new world."
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