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Eduarda Mansilla

Eduarda Mansilla Eduarda Mansilla[1†]

Eduarda Damasia Mansilla Ortiz de Rozas de García (1834–1892) was an Argentine writer[1†][2†]. She was the daughter of Lucio Norberto Mansilla and niece of Juan Manuel de Rosas[1†]. Her first novel under her own name was “Pablo ou la via dans les pampas” in 1869[1†]. As the title implies, the novel was written in French[1†]. It concerned bringing order to the Pampas[1†]. The French language had esteem in Argentina and she had spent time in Paris[1†]. She also wrote of her visits to the United States where she sympathized with the Native Americans in the United States, while nevertheless emphasizing them as primitive, but also sympathized with the slave-owners of the Confederate States of America[1†].

Early Years and Education

Eduarda Damasia Mansilla Ortiz de Rozas de García was born in 1834[1†]. She was the daughter of Lucio Norberto Mansilla and the niece of Juan Manuel de Rosas[1†], a significant figure in Argentine history. This familial connection to influential figures likely had a profound impact on her upbringing and future career.

Growing up in Buenos Aires, Eduarda Mansilla was formally trained to be a musician[1†][4†]. This aspect of her upbringing was a result of the prevalent social norms of the times, which dictated that people of high social standing be well versed in music[1†][4†]. She learned to play the piano[1†][4†], a skill that would later manifest in her writings as well[1†].

In addition to her musical training, Mansilla also spent time in Paris[1†]. The French language had esteem in Argentina during this period, and her time in Paris likely contributed to her cultural and intellectual development[1†].

Despite the societal constraints of her time, Mansilla managed to carve out a unique path for herself. Her early years and education laid the foundation for her future career as a writer and musician, allowing her to navigate the complexities of Argentine society and make significant contributions to its cultural landscape[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Eduarda Mansilla began her literary career with her first novel, “Pablo ou la via dans les pampas”, published in 1869[1†]. The novel, written in French, was about bringing order to the Pampas[1†]. This choice of language and subject matter reflected the esteem held for the French language in Argentina at the time, as well as Mansilla’s personal experiences in Paris[1†].

In addition to her novels, Mansilla also wrote about her travels. Her 1882 travelogue, “Recuerdos de viaje”, is a notable example of her work in this genre[1†][5†]. The travelogue served a dual purpose for Mansilla. It allowed her to challenge the gender restrictions of her time in Argentina, while also critically evaluating North American women[1†][5†]. This work was more than just light entertainment; it engaged with significant, ongoing period transnational debates regarding modernity, gender, and nation[1†][5†].

Mansilla’s musical training also manifested in her writings[1†]. Music as a subject, its performance, and references to musical instruments are common in her literary works[1†]. She even composed music and had some of them published[1†].

Throughout her career, Mansilla navigated the complexities of Argentine society and made significant contributions to its cultural landscape[1†]. Her work transcended the national scope, earning the privilege of being translated into other languages[1†]. She is one of the first Argentine women to have achieved recognition for her literary work[1†].

First Publication of Her Main Works

Eduarda Mansilla was a prolific writer, with her works spanning various genres. Here are some of her main works:

Mansilla’s works were not only popular in Argentina but also translated into several languages, reaching a global audience[1†]. Her musical training often manifested in her writings, with music as a subject, its performance, and references to musical instruments being common in her literary works[1†][4†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Eduarda Mansilla’s work has been recognized for its pioneering character, particularly in the context of Argentine society in the late 1800s[7†]. Her literature, especially her travelogue “Recuerdos de viaje”, is seen as a significant contribution to the discourse on women and modernity[7†][5†].

Mansilla’s travelogue served a dual purpose. On one hand, it allowed her to challenge the gender restrictions of her time in Argentina[7†][5†]. On the other hand, it provided her with a platform to critically evaluate North American women[7†][5†]. This dual approach reflects Mansilla’s nuanced understanding of the gender situations in both Argentina and the United States[7†][5†].

In addition to her adult literature, Mansilla also wrote for children. However, her children’s literature has received less scholarly attention[7†]. One of her notable children’s stories, “La paloma blanca”, published in the 1880 collection “Cuentos”, presents a critique of the patriarchal status quo through the use of ableist stereotypes of disability[7†].

Mansilla’s work, therefore, is not just a reflection of her times but also a critique of the societal norms and expectations. Her writings, whether for adults or children, are imbued with a sense of purpose and a desire to effect change[7†][5†].

Personal Life

Eduarda Mansilla was born into a prominent family, the daughter of General Lucio Norberto Mansilla and Agustina Ortiz de Rozas[1†][2†]. Her uncle was Juan Manuel de Rosas, a significant political figure in Argentina[1†]. She was married to Manuel Rafael García Aguirre[1†][2†], the son of an opponent of Juan Manuel de Rosas[1†]. This brought her into contact with men of conflicting political beliefs[1†].

Mansilla had several children: Eduarda García-Mansilla, Manuel José García-Mansilla, Rafael García-Mansilla, Daniel García-Mansilla, Eduardo García-Mansilla, and Carlos García-Mansilla[1†][2†]. Her personal life was deeply intertwined with her professional life, as she often incorporated her experiences and observations into her writings[1†].

In addition to her literary pursuits, Mansilla was also a trained musician. She learned to play the piano while growing up in Buenos Aires, a reflection of the social norms of the time that dictated people of high social standing be well versed in music[1†]. She even composed music and had some of her compositions published[1†].

Eduarda Mansilla passed away on December 20, 1892, due to cardiovascular disease[1†][2†]. She was buried in the Cementerio de la Recoleta[1†][3†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Eduarda Mansilla’s legacy is significant in the realm of Argentine literature. As a pioneering female novelist, she broke barriers and paved the way for future generations of women writers[1†]. Her writings, which often incorporated her personal experiences and observations, provided a unique perspective on the social and cultural norms of her time[1†][5†][1†].

Mansilla’s work transcended national boundaries, earning the privilege of being translated into other languages[1†]. Her first novel, “Pablo ou la vie dans les pampas,” was written in French and published in 1869[1†][5†]. The novel dealt with bringing order to the Pampas, reflecting the esteem held for the French language in Argentina and her time spent in Paris[1†][5†].

In addition to her literary pursuits, Mansilla was also a trained musician. She learned to play the piano while growing up in Buenos Aires, a reflection of the social norms of the time that dictated people of high social standing be well versed in music[1†][5†]. She even composed music and had some of her compositions published[1†][5†].

Her travelogue, “Recuerdos de viaje,” published in 1882, engaged with significant, ongoing period transnational debates regarding modernity, gender, and nation[1†][5†]. This work served a dual purpose for Mansilla, enabling her to trouble Argentine period gender restrictions while critically evaluating North American females[1†][5†].

Eduarda Mansilla passed away on December 20, 1892, due to cardiovascular disease[1†]. She was buried in the Cementerio de la Recoleta[1†][7†]. Her contributions to Argentine literature and culture continue to be remembered and valued today.

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Eduarda Mansilla [website] - link
  2. Wikipedia (Spanish) - Eduarda Mansilla [website] - link
  3. Find a Grave - Eduarda Mansilla [website] - link
  4. Prabook - Wayback Machine [website] [archive] - link
  5. Berghahn Journals - Argentina and the United States’ “Gender Situations” in Eduarda Mansilla de García's Trip Memoirs (1882) in: Journeys Volume 21 Issue 2 (2020) [website] - link
  6. Goodreads - Author: Books by Eduarda Mansilla (Author of Pablo o la vida en las pampas) [website] - link
  7. Academia - Gender and Disability in Eduarda Mansilla's Literature for Children [website] - link
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