: El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) (): Juan José Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce María Zúñiga: Books. http://www. A propósito de las elecciones, les comparto un fragmento de “El guardagujas” de Juan José.
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The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions. The absurd 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.
Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Though some consider him guardagujws 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.
In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for guardagujsa unavoidable wreck. The Switchman On one level the story operates as a satire on the Mexican transportation system, while on another the railroad is an analogy for the hopeless absurdity of the human condition.
The railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded. Like most of Arreola’s stories, The Switchman’ can be interpreted in a variety of ways—as an allegory of the pitfalls of the 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.
Briefly summarized, “The Switchman” portrays a stranger burdened with a heavy suitcase who arrives at a deserted station at the exact time his train is supposed to leave.
The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T. In some cases, new towns, like the town of F. Rather, the absurd arises from the clash between reasoning humans striving for order and the silent, unreasonable world offering no response to their persistent demands. Retrieved from ” https: Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? 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.
There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station. The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system.
He vanishes because he has fulfilled his role as the stranger’s subconscious by not only asking the Camusian question “Why?
He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it is “X. 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. Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays.
El Guardagujas… de Juan José Arreola
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 to fellow passengers, who may be spies, and to watch out for mirages that the railroad company generates. He does not understand why the stranger insists on going to T. This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat 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 Camus writes that neither humans alone nor the world by itself is absurd.
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 stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay.
It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total. In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good. When the stranger asks the switchman how he knows all of this, the switchman replies that he is a retired switchman who visits train stations to reminisce about old times.
It has been seen as a satire on Mexico’s railroad service and the Mexican character, as a lesson le by the instincts to a arreeola 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.
As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity. But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T.
The Switchman – Wikipedia
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. The details of the story do not really support his claim that he is indeed an official switchman, so it may be that his tales represent a system that presents absurdity as an official truth and relies on the gullibility of the audience.
The railroad management was so pleased that they decided to guardagujae any official bridge building and instead encourage the guarsagujas and recreation of future trains.
Suddenly, a train approaches and the switchman begins to signal it.
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 gguardagujas, an ash-colored building resembling a jail where would-be travelers are lodged. The switchman turns to tell the stranger that he is lucky.
Views Read Edit View history. The image immediately thereafter of the tiny red lantern swinging back and forth before the onrushing train conveys the story’s principal theme: It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and guardagujae completed, the service is highly unreliable.