: 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 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. As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity.

The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions. The story, first published as “El guardagujas” in Cinco Cuentos inis translated in Confabulario and Other Inventions Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

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. Mexican literature short stories. 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.

El Guardagujas… de Juan José Arreola

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? But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T. The stranger wants to know if a train going to T. The switchman’s anecdote about the founding of the village F, which occurred when a train accident stranded a group arreopa passengers—now happy settlers—in a remote region, illustrates the element of chance in human existence.

Suddenly, a train approaches and the switchman begins to signal it.

The switchman then tells a story of certain train rides when the trains arrived at impossible locations. This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat The railroad tracks melting away in the distance guafdagujas the unknown future, while the elaborate network of uncompleted railroads evokes guzrdagujas vain efforts to put into effect rational schemes.


Instead, they resembled the work of writers like Franz Kafka and Albert Camus and their examination of the human condition.

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

Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? In his piece, Arreola focuses on reality as well.

The details of the story do not really support his claim that he is indeed an jse 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.

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. 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.

El Guardagujas (Fragmento)) Juan José Arreola | Litegatos

And the conductors’ pride in never failing to deposit their deceased passengers on the jyan platforms as prescribed by their tickets suggests that the only certain human destination is death, a fundamental absurdist concept. The horrified stranger, who keeps insisting that he must arrive at destination T the next day, is therefore advised to rent a room in guardagujss nearby inn, an ash-colored building resembling a jail where would-be travelers are lodged.

His best-known and most anthologized tale, “The Switchman” exemplifies his taste for humor, satire, fantasy, and philosophical themes. The Switchman Original title: 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. 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.


In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good. He has not ever traveled on a train and does not plan on doing so.

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. 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 guarragujas 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.

In the final lines of Arreola’s story the assertion of the stranger now referred to as the traveler that he is going to X rather than T indicates that he has become an absurd man ready to set out for an unknown destination.

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. In some cases, new eel, like the town of F. The image immediately thereafter of the tiny red lantern swinging back and forth before the onrushing train conveys the story’s principal theme: The switchman then relates a series of preposterous anecdotes, alluded to below, that illustrate the problems one might encounter during any given journey.