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Posted August 8, 2010
Gringo Viejo by Carlos Fuentes
This is a book about frontiers: those between the USA and Mexico. On the one side we have the Mexican revolution with its different manifestations of terror and its popular uprising, until it arrives to the final degeneration of the capitalistic vortex: the dominion and corruption of a bourgeoisie without scruples and the continuation of the exploitation of the Mexican people by the new upper class. On the other side the tense relationship between the two countries.
Fuentes talks about four principal characters in in this artistic composition-two men and two women.
The main character-Gringo Viejo-the American Ambrose Bierce, a renown writer and newspaperman, that crosses the frontier South to fight with Pancho Villa. Bierce is a man that comes in search of a violent death, because he refuses to die of boredom. Because he wants to realize the American Dream of being a good looking cadaver, and because in his country-the USA-he has no more frontiers to cross. Fuentes helps Bierce by imagining frontiers that have no salvation.