La Sombra del Baron

Front Cover
Trafford Publishing, 2005 - 140 pages

Memoir uncovers truth
about effects of ghost story
and family dynamic in Argentine Childhood

The transition from childhood to adulthood is difficult no matter what the circumstances. When more stress is added from societal and familial pressures, that transition is even shorter and harsher. The Shadow of the Baron by American-Argentinian author Laura Lavayén is a memoir of her childhood in Argentina, living on the land of a deceased landholder.

The Baron was a fanatic and kept repeating that, if Germany lost the war, he would commit suicide. He did. The Baron starved to death after destroying all his belongings brought from Germany. The only things left, very close to Laura's home, were a pine tree – also brought from Germany – and his grave surrounded by an iron railing. Soon after the Baron's death, people said that his spirit wandered in the area.

It is in this environment that the memoir begins, before quickly moving into the difficult childhood that fills the book. Lavayén’s memories of her older half-sister, Caty, a mentally handicapped girl who died very young, her gaucho father who was a storyteller and she loved dearly, and stories of scarcity and lack of understanding, mainly from her mother who never agreed with her behavior, flavor much of the text.

The old ranch where the family lived was in the outskirts of beautiful Bariloche. Not far from the place where she used to play with her brothers and sisters, they found broken remains from the former inhabitants in the area, or so they thought. Later on, they learned that they had belonged to the German Baron Ludwig von Bulow. His spirit wandering in the area was a recurring nightmare for Laura…

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La Sombra del Barón

El primer volumen de sus memorias narra su infancia en la estancia donde vivía con su familia y donde trabajaba su padre, cerca a Bariloche. La propiedad pertenecía a un barón alemán, Ludwig von Bulow, quien había dicho que se suicidaría si Alemania perdía la guerra, y así hizo, se dejó morir de hambre.

La Sombra del Barón contiene el secreto para que la vida de Laura se haya desarrollado como lo hizo. El libro presenta recuerdos de su media hermana mayor Caty, quien murió muy joven, su padre, un gaucho por excelencia, quien era un gran narrador de historias y a quien ella amaba especialmente, e historias de carencias y falta de compresión, principalmente por parte de su madre, quien nunca entendió el comportamiento de su hija. El día que ella mira hacia la tumba que tanto la atemorizaba junto a sus hermanos, pues se decía que el fantasma del barón rondaba la estancia, y no sintió miedo ni del barón, ella se marchó… todo se desencadenó cuando se enteró de un secreto que su familia guardaba, lo que la hace entender que su padre tenía razón cuando decía que «No es a los muertos a quien hay que tenerles miedo, sino a los vivos». Esta realidad la hacer perder el miedo a que el espíritu del Barón pudiera aparecérsele y la empuja a dejar la casa de sus padres… siendo aún una adolescente.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCCIÓN
7
LA ESTANCIA VIEJA I
11
ANTES DE IR A LA ESCUELA II
19
LA CASA DE LA ABUELA III
35
MIS DOS HOGARES IV
51
ADIÓS A MI NIÑEZ V
69
MI PRIMER TRABAJO VI
83
ADIÓS A LA ESCUELA VII
95
CARMEN DE PATAGONES VIII
113
VOLVER IX
119
OTRA VEZ ADIÓS X
137
INDICE
141
Copyright

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