A street whose name invokes a great man or a great moment, mused Argentine liberal Andrés Lamas in the penultimate decade of the nineteenth century, is “in truth nothing other than a commemorative monument to that deed or that man.” Such street names “have neither the authority nor the solemnity of statues and artistic monuments, but on the other hand [they] keep memory more alive, more specified, and more widely diffused through the population.” While few stop to study a statue or monument, “in contrast street names are tied more closely to the populace, and are of necessity remembered by the city’s inhabitants, who name them at every step and write them regularly. Thus the deed or the great man is tied more closely to the citizenry’s ways of being and thinking.”1 These everyday monuments offered the population “a silent course in ethics” and converted daily excursions into individual...
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Rebecca Earle; Sobre Héroes y Tumbas: National Symbols in Nineteenth-Century Spanish America. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 August 2005; 85 (3): 375–416. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-85-3-375
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