: El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) (): Juan José Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce María Zúñiga: Books.
|Published (Last):||8 June 2017|
|PDF File Size:||1.65 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||20.26 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
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. The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Guardgujas.
The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T.
Retrieved from ” https: Retrieved April 12, Modern Language Association http: Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays.
Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? When the stranger asks the switchman how he knows all guarrdagujas this, the switchman replies that he is a retired switchman who visits train stations to reminisce about old times.
Though some consider him to be a pioneer in the field on non-realistic literature, critics of him felt that social conditions in Mexico demanded a more realistic examination of the inequalities.
The stranger is warned that if he is lucky enough to board any train, he must also be vigilant about his guarrdagujas of departure.
The switchman says he cannot promise that he buardagujas get the stranger a train to T. Suddenly, a train approaches and the switchman begins to signal it. Instead, they resembled the work of writers like Franz Kafka and Albert Camus and their examination of the human condition.
As the stranger is very interested in this, the switchman once again encourages the stranger to try his luck, but warns him not to talk guardavujas fellow passengers, who may be spies, and to watch out for mirages that the railroad company guardagumas.
A stranger carrying a large suitcase runs towards a train station, and manages to arrive exactly at the time that his train bound for a town identified only as T. There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station. The stranger is also told it should make no difference to him whether or not he reaches T, that once he is on the train his life “will indeed take on some direction.
Another episode involves a trainload of energetic passengers who became heroes absurd heroes in Camusian terms when they disassembled their train, carried it across a bridgeless chasm, and reassembled it on the other side in order to complete their journey. guadagujas
The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and partially completed, the service is highly unreliable. The ghardagujas accept this system, but hope for a change in the system.
In some cases, new towns, like the town of F. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.
Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. In his piece, Arreola focuses on reality as well. The gurdagujas human is aware not only of the limits of reason but also of the absurdity of death and nothingness that will ultimately be his or her fate. The stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. Awareness of the absurd human condition can come at any moment, but it is most likely to happen when, suddenly confronted by the meaninglessness of hectic daily routine, he or she asks the question “Why?
It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total. Mexican literature short stories.
Like most of Arreola’s stories, The Switchman’ can be interpreted in a variety of ways—as an allegory of the pitfalls of yuardagujas Mexican train system, an existential horror story of life’s absurdities and human limitation, and the author’s desire to laugh in spite of the insanities of the world and human interaction.
He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it is “X. This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat Arreola’s ingenious tale exudes a very Mexican flavor, but above all else it is a universal statement on the existential human’s precarious place in the world. The railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded.
The Switchman (El Guardagujas) by Juan José Arreola, |
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. 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. But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T.
He feels that those with authority create absurd laws and conditions in their domain, and their subjects often willingly accept these absurdities, much like ordinary train passengers. And the conductors’ pride in never failing to deposit their deceased passengers on the station platforms as prescribed by their tickets suggests that the only certain human destination is death, a fundamental absurdist concept.