Appeared in Vol. 10 No. 1

The following essay was originally published as a series in La Tribuna (a Buenos Aires newspaper) in 1893-94 and is contained in the collected works of its author, Ruben Dario, which were published in 1955 (Obras completas, Madrid, Afrodisio Agusado, Vol IV, p. 643-654; the original newspaper series had the collective title of “Mensajes “ or “Mensajes de la tarde, “ and the author used the pseud- onym “Des Esseintes “). Dario’s essay is both a fascinating literary window on the social turmoil of nineteenth century Christendom and a work of continuing relevance for our own time. It is translated here by Richard B. O’Keefe, who was led to it by the quotation “The whole of Europe is rotten with the caries of socialism, “ which he read somewhere in the 1960’s or 1970’s.

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