: El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) (): Juan José Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce María Zúñiga: Books.

Author: Akijind Daimi
Country: Nigeria
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Spiritual
Published (Last): 13 November 2009
Pages: 303
PDF File Size: 19.58 Mb
ePub File Size: 4.73 Mb
ISBN: 598-9-93741-935-9
Downloads: 16447
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zuluzuru

It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and partially completed, the service is highly unreliable.

Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays. In addition, it is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: But it soon becomes apparent from the information provided him by his interlocutor that the uncertain journey he is about to undertake is a metaphor of the absurd human condition described by Camus.

He has not ever traveled on a train and does not plan on doing so. When he asks if the train has left, the old man wonders if the traveler has been in the country very long and advises him to find lodging at the local inn for at least a month.

The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T. The absurd human is one who recognizes a lack of clear purpose in life and therefore resolves to commit himself or herself to the struggle for order against the unpredictable, fortuitous reality he or she encounters.

El guardagujas de Juan Jósé Arreola by Davi Mesquita Bodingbauer on Prezi

In some cases, new towns, like the town of F. Camus writes that neither humans alone nor the world by itself is absurd.

Retrieved April 12, As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity. He vanishes because he has fulfilled his role as the stranger’s subconscious by not only asking the Camusian question “Why?

The railroad management was so pleased that they ugardagujas to suspend any official bridge building and instead encourage the stripping and recreation of future trains. Thus, the stranger’s heavy suitcase symbolizes the burden of reason he carries about, and the inn resembles a jail, the place where others like him are lodged before setting out on life’s absurd journey.


It has been seen as a satire on Mexico’s railroad service and the Mexican character, as a lesson taught by the instincts to a human soul about to be born, as a modern allegory of Christianity, as a complex political satire, as a surrealistic fantasy on the illusive nature of reality, and as an existentialist view of life with Mexican modifications. He does not understand why the stranger insists on going to T.

This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat He feels that those with authority create absurd laws and conditions vuardagujas their domain, and their subjects often willingly accept these absurdities, much like ordinary train passengers. The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good.

Modern Language Association http: From the first lines of “The Switchman” the stranger stands out as a man of reason, fully expecting that, because he has a ticket to T, the train will take him there on time.

The Switchman

The “switchman” tells the stranger that the country is famous for its railroad system; though many timetables and tickets have been produced, the trains do not follow them well. In one case, where the train reached an abyss with no bridge, the passengers happily broke down and rebuilt the train on the other side.

The stranger still wishes to travel on his train to T. The residents accept this system, but hope for guardaguajs change in the system. Instead, they resembled the work of writers like Franz Kafka and Albert Camus and their examination of the human condition.

It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total.

He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it is “X. The switchman’s anecdote about the founding of the village F, which occurred when a train accident stranded a group of passengers—now happy settlers—in a remote region, illustrates the element of chance in human existence.


Mexican literature short stories. The switchman turns to tell the stranger that he is lucky. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Retrieved from ” https: The horrified stranger, who keeps insisting that he must arrive at destination T the next day, is therefore advised to rent a room in a nearby inn, an ash-colored building resembling a jail where would-be travelers are lodged. And the conductors’ pride in never failing to deposit their deceased passengers on the station guardagujjas as prescribed by their tickets suggests that the only certain human destination is death, a fundamental absurdist concept.

In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for the unavoidable wreck. Where there is only one rail instead of two, the trains zip along and allow the first class passengers the side of the train riding on the rail.

There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station. The old man then dissolves guardaugjas the clear morning air, and only the guardagujae speck of the lantern remains visible before the noisily approaching engine.

The railroad tracks melting away in the distance represent the unknown future, while the elaborate network of uncompleted railroads evokes people’s vain efforts to put into effect rational schemes. The latter comes closest to the most convincing interpretation, namely, that Arreola has based his tale on Albert Camus ‘s philosophy of the absurd as set forth in The Myth of Sisyphus, a collection of essays Camus published in The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system.

His best-known and most anthologized tale, “The Switchman” exemplifies his taste for humor, satire, fantasy, and philosophical themes. The story, first published as “El guardagujas” in Cinco Cuentos inis translated in Confabulario and Other Inventions