Troesma Poema lunfardo
Miguel Unamuno

02. Prologue

mbassy of the Argentine Republic - Quito, Ecuador. 1990

When enthusiasm and admiration overflow, the course of a century is but an excuse to celebrate an anniversary. And a centennial is the reason which allowed to put together in this volume a group of outstanding personalities of Ecuador´s literature, arts and public life, the centennial of Carlos Gardel's birth.

The project came out of the fraternal and disheveled meeting, like a chat at a café, held by the Tango Club friends, an association loaded with reveries and nostalgia like the music which inspires it. Later, the idea was expanding into informal conversations with other notable and self-confessed Gardelians until blossoming into this book which today is comitted to print. The spontaneous wish to pay homage to the Maestro surpassed all the expectations and the appeal to memory was, by itself, a success.

A call in due time to Don Hermenegildo Sabat, to ask him permission to use his drawings as illustration for the inside pages, added a man from the Banda Oriental (east margin) to the work which -till then- was an exclusive enterprise of Ecuadoreans. With the characteristic sentimentality of an incurable tanguero, our oriental friend, transformed the discreet request into a generous gift and he sent the engraving which adorns the cover. A loving gesture, an emotional outburst which embraced Ecuador and Uruguay into the same loving drive devoted to a popular singer, more universal than Argentine.

This weaving of coincidences inspired the title of the book. Al Troesma con cariño (To the maestro with love) is called the work in which Sabat gathered, nearly two decades ago, his master drawings devoted to portray the simbiosis of singing and the Idol.

Troesma is maestro spelled backwards. Al vesre (al revés, backwards) as the man from Buenos Aires expresses himself in the intimate environment of his city. And Maestro is the title given to whom are regarded as models in art and creation. Because of the solemnity used to pronounce this mention, it is equivalent to a doctor degree honoris causa of the famous «street university». Gardel is called Carlitos, Ídolo, Bronce, Mudo, Maestro, Troesma. Then, following the Sabatian wave, it occurred to us to dedicate the tribute To Troesma from the middle of the world, from this geographical and spiritual point of the continent where the Republic of Ecuador and its people are embraced with the remaining brothers of the continent to the two-four beat.

In a display of tango tautology it could be said that of those included no one is missing. Men of all latitudes in the country, dexterous with the pen or the brush, came near with the tribute of his moving memories to compliment the Troesma. Prestigious figures of the sierra and the coast and even from the spurs of the intermixed Amazonic jungle made a halt in their ever hard work to comply with the dictates of affection and memory. But also those who did not arrive accompany us. Those who knew in the last minute of this improvised celebration could not trespass, even though they wanted to, the unsurmountable limit of rigid deadlines established by printing. But anyway they helped, pushed anyhow and made possible, with their opinions and encouragement, so that the project came true. To them all, present and absent, united in the common devotion for the musa rea (popular muse), our most sincere and thankful acknowledgement.

As it must be, at a meeting of friends, the distribution of positions does not mean preference. Each of the attendants to this peculiar meeting treasures, in his own activity, the sufficient merits and recognition enough to excuse us from impossible discernment. The caravan of articles and recollections is arranged, then, in strict alphabetical order and, finally, the first letters of the surnames are which determine their place in the context.

Due to the intentions which animate it, the elements which inform it and the disinterested commitment of its authors, this book is intended to reproduce, in its modest dimension, the phenomenon which daily experience those who, through the record or old movies, sense again Carlos Gardel's fascination. By going over its pages we will be able to recall that voice and that image touched by the mystery of the magic, which in spite of the time elapsed, go on expressing our deepest emotions and recovering our most cherished and universal feelings.

But furthermore, as testimony of the feeling and the thought of the Ecuadorean community, closely linked by history and hope to their neighbors of the south, the River Plate peoples, the work represents a message of friendship and understanding which is caused to brotherly roll down the stone pavements of Latin America.

That its reading helps to inspire similar realisations.

That the evocation of this shared memory contributes to recover familiar identities.
That the everlasting smile of the Troesma, honor and glory of common outskirts, helps us as a flag to face, with virile attitude and confidence in our strength, the conquest of a future without frontiers, these are the three wishes we express when commemorating this first Gardel´s centennial.

Ambassador of the Argentine Republic