Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 1, No 2 (2012)

Ernesto Quesada, a Positivist Traveler. Between Cosmopolitism and Scientific Patriarchy


https://doi.org/10.3989/chdj.2012.m107

Axel Gasquet
Université Blaise Pascal (CERHAC), Clermont-Ferrand, France

Abstract


Ernesto Quesada (1858-1934) was a renowned and prolific intellectual of the 1890 generation in Argentina. With his father, Vicente Gaspar Quesada, he co-directed Nueva Revista de Buenos Aires between 1863 and 1871. Sociologist, Professor, Germanist and publicist, Quesada was a well-known representative of positivism. A true cosmopolitan, Quesada stood out as a traveler among his peers who were used to extensive journeys, especially in the west. He embarked on unconventional paths for the Argentineans of his time; in 1884 he traveled to Russia and around the world in 1913. These experiences are registered in A Winter in Russia (1888) and Around the World (1914), texts that have not been subject to critique until now. There are thirty years of intense intellectual work from one book to the other. We will study them in the light of his work and time, when a new vision about the Middle and Far East -independent from Europe- was born in Argentina. This contributed to create the model for a modern liberal state for the Argentinean nation. This timespan goes from the federalization of Buenos Aires (with the founding of La Plata as provincial capital in 1882) to the opulence of the centenary (1910).

Keywords


Ernesto Quesada; positivism; cosmopolitism; travel literature; Russia; Eastern Countries

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