In this story, after a realistic beginning in which the lawyer Pereda’s life in Buenos Aires is told – his wife, his children, his career as a judge – Argentina’s economic collapse leads to a break in the story that then resumes in a more magical tone. Argentina’s famed ranches are in ruins, the cows replaced by rabbits, men of courage replaced by coke-snorting adolescents. Once a gentleman of Argentine culture, Pereda no longer belongs in the city, and if he also doesn’t belong on the pampas, at least he has an objective, a goal – to return the land to its former glory. And honestly, I think that’s all I see here, with not a lot to talk about. I liked the illustration, though. I'd be interested to know if anyone got more out of the story than I did.
October 1, 2007: “The Insufferable Gaucho” by Roberto Bolaño