10 June 2009

BDT: Conversa & El diecinueve

Though I've decided to try to look at at least two stories a day, today's entry works out nicely in that the two stories have a common element. Both of these stories are told principally through dialogue. "Conversa," appropriately enough, is told entirely through dialogue, while "El diecinueve" has a smattering of non-dialogue description.

"Conversa" pure and simple is the conversation of a man and a woman in a coffee shop. It's well written, capturing this sort of interaction quite realistically. The man here is the more assertive, and the woman's response--not hostile, but wary--seems pretty dead on. As well done as it is, I must admit if there was any deeper meaning or current there, it sort of passed me by.

"El diecinueve" (The Nineteenth) begins with a man greeting Captain Farías. The captain doesn't recognize his interlocutor, but soon learns that it is someone from his past, specifically his role in Argentina's Dirty War. There's a curious ambiguity to the 19th and his end of the dialogue. Is he a ghost or did he in fact survive? And what has he come back for? Nothing is really resolved, which makes the story either sort of frustrating or intriguing. (I opt for the latter, personally.)

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