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This article provides a careful look at three essays that deal directly with the relationship between cultural identity and the specificity of the Latin American essay, reviewing and questioning the prevailing understanding of the Latin American essay's origin. This leads to a comprehensive contextualization of works by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, and Jose Marti that goes beyond monolithic literary studies. Philosophers such as Hume, Kant, Jefferson, and Hegel seemeddoi:10.15362/ijbs.v10i0.37 fatcat:fjygcpv7sndkjdwqzes4kjiez4