Biography of Héctor Pablo Agosti (1911-1984)

Essayist, journalist, and Argentine politician, born in Buenos Aires in 1911 and died in his hometown in 1984. Author committed to Marxist left, was one of the most important intellectuals of the PCA (Argentine Communist Party) - where he/she served as benchmark maximum cultural and head of the National Commission for Cultural Affairs-, and introduced in Latin America the work of the Italian ideologue Antonio Gramsci.

Encouraged by a firm political vocation, in 1927, when he/she was only sixteen years old, from his early youth he/she joined the PCA, in whose ranks would remain for the rest of his life. He/She was soon captivated by the figure and the example of the materialist intellectual Aníbal Ponce (1898-1938), and decided to seek also a great humanistic education that would allow them to develop further their political ideology. Thus, in 1929 he/she entered the Faculty of philosophy and letters of the University of Buenos Aires, where immediately stood out as one of the principal leaders of the student political movement, at the time that stood out among the theoreticians of the left-wing currents of the University reform.

His tireless work as an intellectual and political activist of reference began to make patent from the University period. Together with other colleagues who shared their ideas Marxist, founded the student political grouping Insurrexit, in which also played a young Ernesto Sábato, author, by that time, a furious pamphlet entitled "Fifteen years of defeats under the sign of reform", released by Insurrexit members. Moreover, the own Agosti was revealed to be a promising ideologue after report, by identical runway, its brochure "Criticism of University reform", written by suggestions from his guide and mentor Aníbal Ponce.

How could it be less during this turbulent period in the history of Argentina - called by some historians "infamous decade" - Héctor P. Agosti was persecuted and imprisoned on several occasions, in response to its spirited political agitator activity and, also, the incendiary newspaper articles which awarded a well-deserved intellectual prestige. Throughout his life, he/she published numerous writings of this kind in the criticism, the Sun, and Clarín, Buenos Aires, Rotary and came to lead the red flag newspaper and the weekly orientation and our word, organs of the Argentine Communist Party.

Reduced to prison between 1930 and 1932 - in full dictatorial term of José Evaristo Uriburu-, just he/she regained freedom when it returned to be imprisoned, this time for a period of four years (1933-1937). Forcible detention, wrote several political essays, collected in one volume to his release from prison, they constituted his first printed book, published under the eloquent title of man prisoner (Buenos Aires, 1938). In this interesting work of youth, Agosti left well patent the political lines that wanted to lead, to designate, among the major intellectuals revolutionaries from Latin America, the Peruvian José Carlos Mariátegui and the Cuban Julio Antonio Mella, omitting the names of the visible heads of the Argentine Communist Party (with which, at the time, the young militant disagreed).

Once released, Héctor Pablo Agosti - that would return to jail three other times, always for the sake of his on defense of freedoms and its frontal rejection of any form of dictatorial authority - was made a hole in the PCA, despite the suspicion with which looked at those leaders that the young writer not had pointed out as perfect models of the revolutionary intellectual (mainly(, the Communist leaders Victorio Codovilla and Rodolfo Ghioldi, famous for his radical Stalinism). He/She survived, by that time, thanks to his craft of literary critic, who had begun to exert, with astounding precocity, in 1928, when he/she published his first articles and reviews in the magazine clarity. Subsequently, practiced criticism in other publications such as us and courses and conferences, the latter directed by his teacher and friend Aníbal Ponce.

His intense journalistic work led him, throughout his long career, to lead other publications such as magazines new Gazette and expression. But his biggest professional success in this journalistic aspect reached it at the front of the magazine Cuadernos de culture, whose leadership took over when the publication was added just a few numbers of existence. Agosti became one of the main forums for research and discussion of Argentine, ensuring at all times by the specificity of its geocultural area history and thought (which meant to fight constantly against pressure from Moscow and the Argentine as the aforementioned pro-Soviet communists Codovilla and Ghioldi, but never deviating from the orthodoxy Marxist inspired Agosti and the rest of the editors and contributors to books of culture). In complex exercise of political balance, Héctor Pablo Agosti stood in front of the prestigious publication during a quarter century (1951-1976).

At the time of be responsible for Cuadernos de culture, Agosti was already an accredited essayist, both by his aforementioned prisoner man volume as by other subsequent trials as a logbook (1942) and, above all, defense of realism (Montevideo, 1945), which achieved a notable broadcasting both in Argentina and in other places in America and Europe. Among other many important figures of international Marxism, the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre wrote to the Buenos Aires essayist to show you the excitement that had been reading in defense of realism, about which it thought that "few texts have been written more serious, deeper than those lines".

At the beginning of the fifties, coinciding with its landing in the direction of Cuadernos de culture, Héctor. P. Agosti undertook the arduous task of disseminating the thought of Gramsci in Argentina. His effort was so tenacious and fruitful that, currently, from a historical perspective elucidated by the passage of the years, it can be said that the ideas of the great politician and Italian thinker took root in Argentina (and, eagerly reported from there, in all Latin America) rather than in the United States of America or in European countries where would have greater influence (as FranceGermany and the United Kingdom). Agosti was the main culprit of this disclosure: in 1950 he/she translated into Spanish the famous letters of Gramsci, and between 1958 and 1962 did the same with his prison notebooks. In addition, he/she wrote a valuable essay, Echeverria (1951) in which availed themselves of the analysis categories established by Gramsci to examine Argentine national culture of the 19th century, and reach the conclusion that, in this period, "sold out the historical role of the Argentinian bourgeoisie". Said otherwise, Agosti, following the guidelines that Gramsci applied to Italian culture, said in this essay that the Argentinian bourgeoisie of the 20th century was stricken a total political impotence, originated in the lack of impulses which, since its inception, prevented him from undertaking the March. In this analysis – which coincided with the point of view of another prestigious Communist Argentinian intellectual, Ernesto Giudici-, Héctor Pablo Agosti again show their disagreements with the ruling class of the PCA, which at that time recognized the national bourgeoisie a remarkable capacity to contribute to the democratization of the country.

Member of the Editorial Board of the French magazine Recherches Internationales, Agosti increased their prestige inside and outside Argentina with a series of courses and conferences in major universities of Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the Soviet Union. He/She combined this dense intellectual work with his tireless work as a journalist and his fruitful dedication to the cultivation of the trial, the gender which, besides politics, allowed him to include literary, cultural and historical topics, etc. His essayistic works not cited so far include remember entitled nation and culture (Buenos Aires, 1959), in which Agosti figure rescues and the ideas of Gramsci to warn about the need to "modernize" or communism to upgrade to the new directions taken by democratic societies around the world. By that time, excited by the triumph of the Cuban revolution, Agosti was launched fully to promote a cultural renewal current within the PCA, based on his own writings and, of course, in the ideas of Gramsci. Certainly, the Buenos Aires intellectual did not dare to carry these cultural differences to the field of political ideas, so it did not take the decisive step of breaking radically with the PCA; but it left sitting the foundations so that this action was carried out by his disciples, which included José Arico and Juan Carlos Portantiero.

Awarded the prize Aníbal Ponce (awarded by the Association "Friends of Aníbal Ponce") in 1978, Héctor Pablo Agosti served as relevant positions in the cultural life of argentina of mid-20th century as of Secretary of the Argentina society of writers (SADE), Secretary of the grouping of intellectuals, artists, journalists and writers (AIAPE), President of the national meeting of Argentine (ENA) and member of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Argentina.

In addition to the works cited in previous paragraphs - namely: man prisoner (1938), logbook (1942), defense of realism (Montevideo, 1945), Echeverria (1951) and nation and culture (1959)-, the political and intellectual Buenos Aires gave to press other trials as worthy of mention as Emilio Zola (1941), French literature (1944), engineers (Buenos Aires, 1945) youth citizen, to a politics of culture (1956)The liberal myth (1959), tantalum regained (1964), the literary militia (1969), Aníbal Ponce. Memory and presence (1974), the conditions of realism (1975), political prose (1975), ideology and culture (1978), singing of the view (1982) and looking ahead (1983). Also saw the light its correspondence with Enrique Amorin.