12 March 2009
The first story of La Guerra Gaucha is "Estreno," which translates as "Debut." The story features a group of battle-hardened gauchos resting after a hard battle. There's some discussion about how the montonera is split up, with one group forming a permanent militia and the others acting more like Minutemen, able to assemble quickly to defend an area. The captain of the group notices that the man carrying the flag of the independance movement has fallen down the side of the mountain. The sergeant heads down the side of the mountain to retrieve it, but falls and is mortally wounded. He does manage to shout "¡Viva la Patria!" and though the men above cannot hear him, they know what he says.
So, plot-wise there's not much that's really intriguing. There are some powerful descriptions of the harshness of the mountainous terrain and the weathered and battle-weary gauchos. There's also the incorporation of the gaucho language, which does make it a little harder to comprehend. As an introduction, it's not bad if a bit on the jingoistic side. I'm hoping there's some variety to the stories.