Modern experimentation with images in gaucho literary publications: Luis Perezand Hilario Ascasubi’s newspapers [1]

Juan Albín [2]

ALBIN, Juan. Modern experimentation with images in gaucho literary publications: Luis Perez’ and Hilario Ascasubi’s newspapers. 19&20, Rio de Janeiro, v. X, n. 1, jan./jun. 2015. [Español]

 *     *     *

1.      In the preface to La vuelta de Martín Fierro (The Return of Martin Fierro), in 1879, José Hernández made his publication stand out due to a particular feat: It also includes - Hernandez writes - ten illustrations in the text, and I think that in the domains of literature, it is the first time a work comes out with this improvement in the national press [...] Therefore, no effort has been spared in preparing an edition in the most advanced artistic conditions.[3] Although Hernandezs statement is somewhat exaggerated, the fact is that the illustrations made by Carlos Clerice for La vuelta de Martin Fierro are perhaps the first illustrations to be included in a national literary text in a modern sense: his images do not merely represent in a subordinate manner that which is described and narrated in the text, but they participate in the texts aesthetic strategies, forming a unitary whole with it. And yet, in this prologue and due to the aforementioned statement, Hernández bypasses a whole former tradition of experimentation with images that can be traced back to printed publications of the same gaucho genre of which Hernández's poem is both a closure and a culmination. Indeed, this experimentation of gaucho literature with images can be traced back to some texts by Bartolomé Hidalgo, recognized as one of the first gaucho writers, and to those authors who followed in his footsteps, such as Luis Perez and Hilario Ascasubi. Therefore, from Hidalgo to Hernandez, printed publications of the gaucho genre will experiment with images in various ways: first, they will reuse available images and make them work in different contexts, re-signifying them; second, they will produce new images for their texts, images which will tend to amalgamate, in visual terms, some discursive aspects of those publications or the gaucho genre itself; finally, such images will prove to be particularly effective in stimulating the production of other images in other mediums and media, which will establish a critical and even satirical dialogue with them, enlightening the genre in more than one way.

2.      Unlike Bartolomé Hidalgo, whose gaucho works are closely related to the wars of independence in the 1810s and 1820s, Luis Perez and Hilario Ascasubi intervene discursively in other wars: the civil wars between Unitarians and Federalists that mark the 1830s and 1840s, and the wars which took place throughout the 1850s, marking, after the battle of Caseros, the separation between Buenos Aires and the Confederation. Following in Hidalgos footsteps, but also mediated by the journalistic experiences of Father Castañeda, Luis Perez publishes, in the late 1820s and early 1830s, several newspapers: El torito de los muchachos, El toro del Once, El gaucho, La gaucha. In them, he invented a key character for the genre: the figure of the gaucho gazetteer, who takes charge of writing the gazette, a figure behind which the figure and the signature of the author is hidden. Pérez does not publish one issue after another successively. Instead, he ocasionally publishes some issues simultaneously and thus - while establishing a direct dialogue with other newspapers of that time - he starts replying to himself from one his many newspapers to the other. El gaucho and La gaucha, for example, engage in an ongoing dialogue: in them Pancho Lugares, the gazeteer in El gaucho, writes letters to his wife, Chanonga, who in turn replies or starts another epistolary dialogue from her own gazette, La gaucha.[4] And just like Luis Pérezplays experimentally with the possibilities of the printed media, he also experiments with images in his newspapers.

3.      By establishing a more modern relationship between images and texts, it is possible to think of an early experimentation with images in Pérezs newspapers, since in his publications the image has neither the same role nor the same function as in other newspapers of the time. For the sake of comparison, let us take La Gaceta Mercantil, probably the most important newspaper published in Buenos Aires during 1830, at the time Perez published his. Sandra Szir has analysed the relationship between text and image in La Gaceta Mercantil as some sort of “‘industrialillustration; on the one hand, the images appearing on it are prefabricated clichés whose reproduction was repeated in the same newspaper and in others; on the other hand, the images operate in the newspaper offering a graphic indicator that would guide the reader towards the type of information he was seeking, facilitating the reading and the identification amid lengthy columns of text.[5] Thus, for example, the small vignette of a boat in La Gaceta Mercantil could announce the arrival or the departure of a merchant ship. In this sense, Pereznewspapers can also be thought of in terms of industrial illustration, at a first glance, for they sometimes also make use of prefabricated clichés, which were obviously available in the print and most likely had had other uses.[6] However, unlike what happens in La Gaceta Mercantil, in Perezs publications the function of the image is different, for they are not merely markers to help readers not get lost in their reading. Perez plays with the images, even with the prefabricated or industrial ones; he inserts them in different contexts, re-functionalizing and redefining them; therefore, at times, the image also becomes part of the aesthetic and political operations of his newspapers.

4.      A first clue of this experimentation with images can be seen in the fact that, as the issues are published, Perez tries out different images. For example, the first issues of both El torito de los muchachos and El gaucho use a more conventional image on the cover of their first issue: a lute and a trumpet intertwined in the case of El torito de los muchachos (the image reappears later in El toro del Once) and a very rustic cabin in El Gaucho. Soon, however, both newspapers start featuring images that are more related to the aesthetic and political operations present in the texts: a bull in a combat position in El torito de los muchachos; and a gaucho posing simultaneously as gaucho and writer in El gaucho.

5.      It is interesting to see how Perez tests various options in the image that illustrates the front page of El Torito de los muchachos. As we have mentioned, the conventional image of the lute illustrates the first page of the gazette up to issue 6. In issue 5, however, a very small conventional vignette, with the image of a bull, accompanies a text signed by the Editor, who presents the torito (little bull):

6.                                    ¿No querían conocer / al Torito Colorao? / Pues vele hay en el prospeto, / Ya lo tienen imprentao. // Mirenle la laya mozos / Los del cuellito parao, / mas no se asuste toavia / El que no lo haya corneao. // Lo que yo les advierto / Que es Torito arriesgador, / Y le ha de meter el aspa / Al mocito más pintor. // Tiene olfato como perro, / Y adonde nadie lo espera / En parando la nariz / Descubre la vizcachera. // No hay café, tienda ni cueva / Tortulia ni beberage / Ande entren los inutarios / Que no adivine lo que hacen.[7]

7.      So, while presenting the little red bull and its function (identifying Unitarians in public and private environments, threatening them, attacking them, goring them), the editor also invites the readers to see the image he just printed. Nevertheless, the image is still a very conventional vignette, very small and representing a bull in profile in a peaceful position, as noted by Fernández Latour de Botas[8]. This image, then, was very similar to those that would appear in La Gaceta Mercantil or other newspapers indicating the sale of an animal, an image that does not correspond to the (political) violence exerted by the bull that Juancho Barriales, the gaucho gazeteer behind which Perez hides in this newspaper, releases in the public arena. Then, in the 6th issue, Perez tests another option and publishes, in the front page, the image of a bull in an aggressive position of attack, and furthermore, facing the reader; an image according to the aesthetic and political strategies of the publication and that will be kept until the last issue of the newspaper.[9] Obviously, Perez gives some importance to this image: by replacing the vignette of the lute, this image (which is larger and occupies a more important position on the page) demands a rearrangement of the graphic layout of the newspaper, giving more importance to its visual than to its textual aspects.

8.      In the case of the image of El gaucho, this experimentation is even more noticeable and perhaps harsher; there is an abyss between the image of the rustic cabin on the first issue and the gaucho image that appears in later issues if one considers how these images are articulated with the newspapers aesthetic and political strategies. Because if the image of the rustic cabin is probably a conventional vignette, a cliché with which the printing press counted, reusing it so as to ruralize the image of a newspaper that claims to be written by a gaucho, the image of the gaucho published in the following issues is not a conventional image and involves more complex meanings. It does not seem to be conventional because the image itself is a kind of oxymoron for the ideological and even the legal discourse on the gaucho at that time: are we actually in the presence of an educated gaucho, a gaucho who is a writer? It also implies more complex meanings because the image itself seems to be a visual synthesis of what the gaucho genre proposes: an alliance - in Josefina Ludmer’s[10] words - between the urban educated and the rural popular cultures or, even better, the use of the rural popular culture by the urban educated culture. The figure in this image poses as a gaucho and displays erudition, and at the same time it is a synthesis of both figures; on the one hand, he poses as a gaucho, displaying his gaucho clothing, and with a background consisting of a fence made of sticks (all this, of course, ruralizes the scene of the image); on the other hand, he poses as an erudite, exhibiting the material instruments of writing: a sheet of paper, a pen[11] ... Not at all casual in a newspaper in whose Prospejo(brochure), the gaucho Pancho Lugares describes his trip from the countryside to the city and his deal with a printer in order to have the gazette published, a scene and an episode that from the beginning present the figure of an educated gaucho, a gaucho in partnership with the educated and printed culture.[12]

9.      Pérez, as we have mentioned, plays with the possibilities of the periodical press and establishes a dialogue between his own newspapers. The dialogue between El gaucho and La gaucha is not exclusively textual, established by sending letters to each other, but also visual. Not only in terms of the images (La gaucha also includes the image of a figure with attributes related to writing - a sheet of paper, a pen - although maybe its gaucho character is not as accomplished, as we can assume by its clothing or the objects - the column - it carries in the scene), but also because both feature the same graphic design and articulation between images and texts. In both newspapers and as from a certain issue onwards, the front-pages graphic design changes and written captions are included on the sides of the picture, Down with the Unitarians* / Down with the blabbermouthsin El gaucho, and Down with the Unitarians* / Down with the Fungueiros[13] in La gaucha. In other words, political struggle makes no gender distinctions; El gaucho is responsible for attacking mainly the female Unitarians, while La gaucha criticizes the male Unitarians.

10.    In newspapers like El gaucho Jacinto Cielo (1843) and Aniceto el Gallo (the first series as from 1853, and the second, as from 1858) Hilario Ascasubi, who belonged to the opposite political group from Pérez, works based on the same figure and the same enunciation device of the gaucho gazetteer that Perez worked with: a gaucho that is in charge of the writing and the publishing of a gazette. Also, Ascasubi partly recovers the ways in which Luis Perez experimented with images.

11.    Like Perez, Ascasubi embarks on the same trial and error process with the images as new issues get published. This can be seen, for example, in El gaucho Jacinto Cielo, which features in its first issues the image of a horse that will, in subsequent issues, become the image of a gaucho on horseback holding boleadoras.[14] Another example can be seen in the second series of Aniceto el Gallo, in the decision to change the image of the solitary rooster of the issues of the first series for another image of a rooster, now holding the Argentinian flag in its spurs; an image that matches the gazettes subtitle (A humorous-gloomy and gaucho-patriot Gazette), transforming this rooster into a patriotic rooster, whose signature is now widely recognized after appearing in the gaucho Aniceto’s text showing his gratitude to artist Catalde, a text gracefully entitled BEWARE OF THE NEW ROOSTER:

12.                                  Velay la estampa del Gallo / que sostiene la bandera / de la patria verdadera / del Veinticinco de Mayo. // El santero don Catalde / es quien me ha hecho la fineza / de pintarlo a toda prisa / a lo divino, y de balde. // Es una prueba de afeto, / y de generosidá, / que se le agradecerá / eternamenteANICETO.[15]

13.    However, it is worth noting the different ways with which Ascasubi operates with the images in El gaucho Jacinto Cielo and in Aniceto el Gallo. If in El gaucho Jacinto Cielo he chooses to emphasize the humanity of his gaucho figure by going from an isolated horse to a gaucho on horseback holding boleadoras, in Aniceto el Gallo, another operation takes place: we have a name (Aniceto), referring to a man, and a nickname (Gallo, which means rooster in Spanish), referring to an animal. But the image Ascasubi chooses for his publication emphasizes the animality of the nickname: Aniceto literally becomes, in the image, a rooster. Why a rooster? The text  itself plays with the meaning of the term roosterand it may explain the choice of the image. Rooster, at first thought, evokes crowing, singing, a singer, and this is made explicit in the dialogue between Aniceto and the printer that opens the first issue of the newspaper.[16] But rooster also evokes fighting, brawling; this rooster is for rooster-fighting, a meaning that the text assumes when using the terms set the rooster freeor release the rooster... In that sense, Ascasubi’s visual choice joins Pereztradition although he tries to take one step further and outperform it: the images of bulls and roosters represent aggressive animals who fight and brawl (for the texts are, indeed, involved in discursive wars); but if Perezs bull gored and lunged at the Unitarians, Ascasubi’s rooster attacks the leader of the Confederation (Urquiza) with its beak, that is, with words and discourse.[17] The choice of the image (and its nickname, of course) of the animal is tightly entwined with the newspapers aesthetic-political strategies. On the other hand, the importance Ascasubi ascribes to images can also be seen in the spatial composition of the newspaper: although he gives an important place to that image, it is still very conventional.

14.    Even though Perezs and Ascasubi’s operations with images are very similar, Ascasubi starts experimenting in a way not much developed by Perez. Ascasubi not only assigns an important role to the image on the front-page, but also begins to include images between the newspapers texts. In general, these images show very conventional clichés (mostly of animals: dogs, bulls, tigers...), reused and re-signified by Ascasubi’s gaucho newspapers. The images of tigers are specially interesting, because sometimes they show no aggressive or terrifying featurethese are images which probably have had other uses, maybe illustrating childrens books or zoology books, and which now imply, as in El gaucho Jacinto Cielo, other meanings; for example, one of the epigraphs of those images reads El Restaurador(The Restorer). That is, the tiger now is ... Juan Manuel de Rosas![18]

15.    In 1853, Ascasubi simultaneously published the newspaper Aniceto el Gallo and a book, the Trovos de Paulino Lucero (The ballads of Paulino Lucero). This is an important moment for a genre that previously had been published only in leaflets, newspapers and pamphlets, and only then gained access to books, though fleetingly. And with Ascasubi’s book, a type of image arises that until then had never appeared in gaucho publications. On the first page of the Trovos de Paulino Lucero, Ascasubi prints a portrait of himself. That image, that portrait is important for at least two reasons. On the one hand, the author reveals himself and leaves the backstage, where he had been hiding behind the figure of the gaucho gazetteer. On the other hand, that image is also interesting because it engenders the production of another image, a satirical cartoon on the newspaper La Cencerrada, in 1855. This image shows Ascasubi’s face (which was most likely copied from the portrait printed in his book in 1853) and the body of a rooster. Thus, the image reveals satirically the basic mechanism of the gaucho genre: a kind of writing that turns to an exacerbated form of ventriloquism, presenting basically gauchos that speak through a well-educated writer, gaucho voices that are impregnated by the literate culture of the author.

16.    Some final considerations: firstly, one can see that, at a certain point, the experimentation with the image in the publications of the gaucho literature modernizes the relationship between image and text. This occurs in several ways: the gaucho literature reuses conventional images found in print (for example, the lute, in Perez, or the tigers, in Ascasubi), re-functionalizes them in other contexts and gives them a new meaning; likewise, it seems to produce images that fit the genres aesthetic and discursive strategies in an interesting way, and it even amalgamates images (for example, the case of the gaucho writer in Perez or the patriotic rooster in Ascasubi); finally, the gaucho literature - texts and images - seems to be particularly effective in producing new images in various mediums and media, amalgamating ideas and critically revealing their own operations (as in the case of the caricature built from the image of the rooster and Ascasubi’s portrait). On a different level of analysis, we can say that the gaucho literature (works such as those we have analysed, by Perez or Ascasubi) experiments with images in a modern way, since it is particularly interested in new ways of production and circulation of images that create a new visual system in the 19th century. Thus, as we have shown, the gaucho literature works with the latest mediums concerning the circulation of images: etchings, mainly during the years in which Ascasubi and Perez were active, but also, some years later, lithography, and around 1872, even photography, when Ascasubi’s works were published in Paris in a luxurious edition. Consequently, we can also conclude that the gaucho literature by Perez and Ascasubi articulate very different cultural forms. On the one hand, traditional cultural forms which refer to an oral culture (the reference to dances and music that give title to their compositions and that are also transformed by them, such as the Cielito, the Media Caña, the Resbalosa, the Payada, etc.); on the other hand, cultural forms that refer to the most modern forms of printed and visual culture of its time: newspaper, etching, lithography, photography.[19] Therefore, gaucho literature can be thought of as a cultural artefact that combines and processes all these oral, written and visual forms - both traditional and modern - and re-functionalizes them according to the discursive war in which it has almost always been involved. 


ANSOLABEHERE, Pablo. Ascasubi y el mal argentino. In: SCHVARTZMAN, Julio, (org.). La lucha de los lenguajes. Historia crítica de la literatura argentina. Vol. 2. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2003.

[ASCASUBI, Hilario]. Aniceto el Gallo. Buenos Aires. 11. 12 de marzo de 1858.

FERNÁNDEZ Latour de Botas, Olga. Estudio preliminar. In: El torito de los muchachos. Edición facsimilar. Buenos Aires: Instituto Bibliográfico Antonio Zinny, 1978 (1830).

HERNÁNDEZ, José. Martín Fierro. (Introducción, notas, bibliografía y vocabulario por Horacio Jorge Becco). Buenos Aires: Huemul, 1979.

La lira argentina o colección de las piezas poéticas dadas a luz en Buenos Aires durante la guerra de la Independencia. (Edición crítica, estudio y notas por Pedro Luis Barcia). Buenos Aires: Academia Argentina de Letras, 1982.

LUDMER, Josefina. El género gauchesco. Un tratado sobre la patria. Buenos Aires: Perfil, 2000.

RIVERA, Jorge B. La paga del gauchesco. In: Clarín, Cultura y Nación. Buenos Aires, 18 de mayo de 1989.

SCHVARTZMAN, Julio. El gaucho letrado. In: Microcrítica. Buenos Aires: Biblos, 1996a.

_____. Paulino Lucero y el sitio de La refalosa. In: Microcrítica. Buenos Aires: Biblos, 1996b.

_____. A quién cornea El Torito. Notas sobre el gauchipolítico Luis Pérez. In: IGLESIA, Cristina. Letras y divisas. Ensayos sobre literatura y rosismo. Buenos Aires: Santiago Arcos, 2004.

_____. Ascasubi en París. In: BARNABÉ, Jean-Philippe; CORDERY, Lindsey; VEIGH,  Beatriz (coords.). Los viajeros y el Río de la Plata: un siglo de escritura. Montevideo: Universidad de la República / Linardi y Risso, 2010.

SZIR, Sandra. De la cultura impresa a la cultura de lo visible. Las publicaciones periódicas ilustradas en Buenos Aires en el siglo XIX. Colección Biblioteca Nacional. In: GARABEDIAN, Marcelo;  SZIR, Sandra; LIDA, Miranda. Prensa argentina siglo XIX. Imágenes, textos y contextos. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Biblioteca Nacional, 2009.

English translation by Elena O´Neill


[1] This work is greatly indebted to Julio Schvartzman, who has proposed on many occasions, sometimes orally, very productive hypotheses on conventional images, and how they acquire a different function and meaning in the gaucho publications. This work could not even have started to outline a problem if it were not for his generosity in suggesting ways of reading these images and in proposing hypotheses whose scope, at times, seems to offer an endless richness. Thank you!


[3] HERNÁNDEZ, José. Martín Fierro. (Introduction, notes, bibliography and vocabulary by Horacio Jorge Becco). Buenos Aires: Huemul, 1979, p. 135.

[4] Julio Schvartzman has lucidly shown, indeed, how Pérez experiments with the possibilities offered by the press in a very modern way: in this sense, he has even suggested that El gaucho and La gaucha could be thought of as a single journal that transvestites itself, two days a week in womenswear and two days a week in menswear. SCHVARTZMAN, Julio. A quién cornea El Torito. Notas sobre el gauchipolítico Luis Pérez. In: IGLESIA, Cristina. Letras y divisas. Ensayos sobre literatura y rosismo. Buenos Aires: Santiago Arcos, 2004, p. 17.

[5] SZIR, Sandra. De la cultura impresa a la cultura de lo visible. Las publicaciones periódicas ilustradas en Buenos Aires en el siglo XIX. Colección Biblioteca Nacional. In: GARABEDIAN, Marcelo;  SZIR, Sandra; LIDA, Miranda. Prensa argentina siglo XIX. Imágenes, textos y contextos. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Biblioteca Nacional, 2009, pp. 58-59.

[6] In terms of possibilities of experimentation, Jorge Rivera noted that the gaucho genre was closely related to the “technological equipment” of the press of his time. RIVERA, Jorge B. La paga del gauchesco. In: Clarín, Cultura y Nación. Buenos Aires, May 18th, 1989.

[7] Because of the specific rhythm and rhyming, and the use of slang in the gaucho prose, we prefer to include the original text. An approximate translation of it would be: “Wanted to meet the Red Torito? Well, you’ll see it in the brochure; it has already been printed. Look at its kind, young men, you may lack audacity, but do not fear the one who has not gored you yet. But I do warn you, that this is a risk-taking Torito, and it will stab with its tusk the best young painter. Its sense of smell is like that of a dog, and when nobody expects, by pointing up its nose, it will discover the rat’s nest. There’s no café, shop or cave, gathering or drinking assembly frequented by the Unitarians that the Torito will not guess what they are up to”. (T. N.).

[8] FERNÁNDEZ Latour de Botas, Olga. Estudio preliminar. In: El torito de los muchachos (1830). Edición facsimilar. Buenos Aires: Instituto Bibliográfico “Antonio Zinny”, 1978.

[9] Julio Schvartzman has analyzed the functioning of the bull in El torito de los muchachos in the following terms: “The emergence of the bull would provoke, in the Unitarian opposition, predictable reactions of persecutory panic. Actually, Perez does not record these reactions but tries to provoke them, or to play with the spectacle of others fleeing. The public space, now, belongs to the Federals [...] The bull goes out, assaults, encounters, gores, stabs with his tusk, seizes, grabs, rushes violently. At the same time, the gazette challenges those who dare to swing the cape, make a series of passes, lasso the bull, plant the barbed sticks (banderillas) on the bull’s shoulder, wear it down, ride him, kill him”. SCHVARTZMAN, 2004, op. cit. pp. 17-18.

[10] LUDMER, Josefina. El género gauchesco. Un tratado sobre la patria. Buenos Aires: Perfil, 2000.

[11] In order to think the gaucho as erudite, see El gaucho letrado by Julio Schvartzman, who proposes fundamental hypotheses about the relationship between literature and gauchos, and especially about that figure of the erudite gaucho in various key moments of the gaucho genre.

[12] Indeed, in the “Prospejo” of El gaucho, Pancho Lugares tells us: “Como allá en la Guardia no hay, / Quien sepa bien imprentar, / A la ciudad me he venido / Este asunto a publicar” (As over there in the Guardia there is nobody who knows how to print, to the city I have come to publish this issue).

[13] Fungueiro, expression used in Galicia post, a sturdy piece of timber set upright in the ground, probably identifying the opposite party, the Unitarians, as something anchored to the ground, leading to a standstill. The construction of a new terminology as from expressions in other languages, variations on the standard meaning of words, or even inventing new ones is a characteristic of gaucho literature. (T.N.). In the translation from the original, the grammatical gender markings (”Abajo unitarias”, ”Abajo unitarios”) are lost, becoming, in both cases, ”Down with the Unitarians”. (T.N.)

[14] Boleadoras, instrument used in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay composed of two or three stone balls or other heavy materials, lined in leather and secured with individual guascas (strings), thrown at the neck or legs of animals in order to capture them. (T. N.).

[15] Because of the specific rhythm and rhyming, and the use of slang in gaucho prose, we prefer to include the original text. An approximate translation of it would be: “see the Rooster’s silhouette holding the flag of the true homeland of the 25th of May. The Santero don Catalde has made me the honour of painting it in a hurry, divinely, and for free. This is a proof of affection, and generosity, which will be eternally thanked ... ANICETO”. (T. N.).

[16] In this dialogue between the printer and the gaucho, the image of the rooster-singer is made explicit: “- ¿Y cómo se llama usted? / - ¿Yo?... Aniceto Gallo. / - ¿Gallo?... ¿Entonces será Ud. cantor?” (“And what is your name? Mine? ... Aniceto Rooster. Rooster? ... So, are you a singer?” (Dialogue describing the agreement between the printer and I, In: Aniceto el Gallo, no. 1).

[17] Pablo Ansolabehere, who has analysed the conformity in the textuality of Aniceto el Gallo as of a kind of zoo, speaks of the proliferation of animals in the text and in gaucho literature in the following terms: [...] this animal aggressiveness also follows a tradition within the gaucho journalism: there are, for example, El Torito de los muchachos and El Toro del Once ... [...] from the bull to the rooster (or from the little bull to the little rooster) there is in the gaucho a whole repertoire of animality, clearly indebted to the rural culture, and whose proliferation can be verified, for example, in the Martin Fierro. The bull can knock down and stab someone with its horns, but the rooster has an advantage, itbeaksor attacks with words. ANSOLABEHERE, Pablo. Ascasubi y el mal argentino”. In: SCHVARTZMAN, Julio, (org). La lucha de los lenguajes. Historia crítica de la literatura argentina. Vol. 2. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2003. Thus, Ansolabehere allows us to think not only about the proliferation of images of animals (and not exclusively the textual aspect), but also about the basic difference between the bull and rooster: Ascasubi’s option implies, perhaps, an extra meaning.

[18] Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793 -1877), nicknamed “Restorer of the Laws”, politician and army officer who ruled the province of Buenos Aires and briefly the Argentinian Confederation. (T. N.).

[19] In “Paulino Lucero o el sitio de La refalosa”, Julio Schvartzman has mentioned this blend of tradition and modernity in Ascasubi’s gaucho literature. So, after commenting and thinking on the epistolary interchange between two gauchos in Paulino Lucero, he proposes: “Jacinto Cielo replies as is usual in the so-called ‘editorial response’, setting what would be an editorial criteria, and does it verse by verse, in a truly journalistic payada (again, folklore and press)”. Perhaps one could say about the gaucho literature as a genre that proposed by Julio Schvartzman commenting on a specific passage of Paulino Lucero: in it “ are merged folklore and a high proficiency in reading newspapers, the most modern means of its time”. SCHVARTZMAN, Julio. Paulino Lucero y el sitio de la Refalosa. In: Microcrítica. Buenos Aires: Biblos, 1996b, p. 88.