is considered the first serious work managed by the writer.
was the name of the main character and, just like Güiraldes himself, he would go from the countryside to the illuminated City of Paris. Eventually, the character chooses to return to the
for good. But that would not necessarily mean that he would cease to be a cultured and well-educated man who realizes he cannot live away from what he really feels.
An autobiographical book for some, this is a sketch of what would become his major literary work (Don Segundo Sombra
). The truth is that throughout his writing, Güiraldes has conveyed the values he witnessed everyday in the behavior of rural men into his characters and epic works.
Maybe it is not by chance that a certain Fabio Cáceres, the other character in Don Segundo Sombra
, changes into an aged man at the end of the novel, but a rural man after all. Intact Tracts
Today, in San Antonio de Areco there is hardly any local who does not own a copy of Don Segundo Sombra
and in many houses, especially the most ancient and stately in town, there are neighbors who even preserve the first edition of this work.
One of them is Miguel Ángel Gasparini
, who is in charge of painting and telling the story of Areco in his museum and studio called La Recova. He reads paragraphs from the original edition for whoever wishes to listen. A small treasure indeed, just like the large number of photographs from the old days which feature many proud neighbors and rural men.
At the main square, more precisely at the newsstand, its owner provides all the necessary explanations to whoever asks about the two gauchos
in the picture. They are don
Ricardo Güiraldes (the writer) and don
Ricardo Ramírez or don
Segundo Sombra (the character). The photograph, which looks intact, was taken at the writer’s estancia
in 1926, when the book came out.
Tracking down don
Segundo Sombra is not an easy task but it certainly is exciting. Each man and woman in Areco knows that both writer and character have managed to make this small town in the Province of Buenos Aires
quite famous and therefore, they have earned a well-deserved reputation.