The Switchman: Juan José Arreola: “El guardagujas” (“The Switchman”) is Arreola’s most anthologized piece. It is without question his most representative. taken there, don’t you agree?” “Most people would say you are right. Over at the inn you can talk to people who have. The Switchman1. Juan José Arreola. http://www.

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The Switchman (El Guardagujas) by Juan José Arreola, |

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. But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T. 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.

Suscribirse a Entradas Atom. In addition, it is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions. Paisaje de invierno, de John Berryman. El gato y la luna.

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.

Comentarios de primera mano de un lector frente a la obra. Hay estaciones que son pura apariencia: It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total.

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. Pero ellos se dan cuenta en seguida de todos los sentidos que puede tener una frase, por sencilla que sea. Hay quien ha gastado en boletos una verdadera fortuna A lei de Lem.


Carmen y amig s. 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. Todo un lado de los vagones se estremece lamentablemente con los golpes guardagjjas dan las ruedas sobre los durmientes.

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. As he gazes at the tracks that seem to melt away in the distance, an old man the switchman carrying a tiny red lantern appears from out of nowhere and proceeds to inform the stranger of the hazards of train travel in this country.

El tren fue a dar en un terreno impracticable.

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. Libro de homenajes, de Jorge Teillier. Kenny Barron en el Bradley’s de Nu La pluma y La espada.

DscnTxt Editores, Santiago de Chile, Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity.

Awareness of the absurd human condition can come at any moment, agreola it is most likely to happen when, suddenly confronted by the meaninglessness of hectic daily routine, he or she asks the question “Why? 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. En los bosques, de Pavel Mielnikov.

Punt de Llibre Convocatorias.


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

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.

Compran un boleto para ir a T. Club de Lectura Bib. Camus writes that neither humans alone nor the world by itself is absurd. Modern Language Association http: The switchman then tells a story of certain train rides when the trains arrived at impossible locations.

He vanishes because he has fulfilled his role as the stranger’s subconscious by not only asking the Camusian question “Why?

The Switchman

The switchman tells the stranger guardagujjas the inn is filled with people who have made that very same assumption, and who may one day actually get there. No trate a ninguno de los pasajeros. Otras Voces, Otras Lecturas. Dioses, tumbas y sabios, de C.

Llibres i poemes a estones. 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. Descontexto Editores, Santiago de Chile, The switchman turns to tell the stranger that he is lucky. 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.

Pero los viajeros me cuentan historias. 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. In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for the unavoidable wreck.