http://html. : El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) (): Juan José Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce María Zúñiga: Books. El guardagujas/ The Switchman by Juan Jose Arreola, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

Author: Mikajinn Tozragore
Country: Morocco
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Love
Published (Last): 17 May 2015
Pages: 306
PDF File Size: 4.19 Mb
ePub File Size: 5.89 Mb
ISBN: 857-6-86172-257-1
Downloads: 70856
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Digami

In some cases, new towns, like the town of F. The railroad guardgujas occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded.

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 Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

The stranger still wishes to travel on his train to T. The stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. 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.

Mexican literature short stories. It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total. In his piece, Arreola focuses on reality as well. 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.

Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. As the stranger is very interested in this, the switchman once again encourages the stranger gardagujas 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.

The Switchman

Camus writes that neither humans alone nor the world by itself is absurd. There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station.


In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for the unavoidable wreck. 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 rl the guardagujaw.

In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good.

It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and partially completed, the service is highly unreliable. 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. He does not understand why the stranger insists on going to Arreola.

Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? By using this site, you agree to the Guardzgujas of Use and Privacy Policy. The switchman tells the stranger that the inn is filled with people who have made that very same assumption, and who may one day actually get there.

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 management was so pleased that they decided to suspend any official bridge building and instead encourage the stripping and recreation of future trains.

The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. The residents accept this system, but hope for a change in the system.

The switchman then relates a series of preposterous guarfagujas, alluded guqrdagujas below, that illustrate the problems one might encounter during any given journey.

Thus, the stranger’s heavy suitcase symbolizes the burden of reason he carries about, wrreola the inn resembles a jail, the place where others like him are lodged before setting out on life’s absurd journey.


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

The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions.

When guwrdagujas 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 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 guardaujas her fate. As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity. 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 guadagujas on the other side in order to complete their journey.

He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it is “X.

El guardagujas/ The Switchman

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. Views Read Edit View history. The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. Awareness of the absurd human condition can come at any moment, but it is most likely to happen when, guadagujas confronted by the meaninglessness of hectic daily routine, he or she asks the question “Why?

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.