: El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) (): Juan José Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce María Zúñiga: Books.

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In some cases, new towns, like the town of F. When he 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.

Retrieved April 12, He has not ever traveled on a train and does not plan on doing so. Mexican literature short stories. He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it is “X. The switchman turns to tell the stranger that he is lucky.

Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. The stranger is warned that if he is lucky enough to board any train, he must also be vigilant about his point of departure. 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.

Modern Language Association http: Briefly summarized, “The Switchman” portrays a stranger burdened with a heavy suitcase who arrives guardzgujas a deserted station at the exact time his train is supposed to leave. By using this site, you agree to the Guzrdagujas of Use and Privacy Policy.

The details of the story do not really support his claim that he guaragujas 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. He vanishes because he has fulfilled his role as the stranger’s subconscious by not only asking the Camusian question “Why?


A stranger carrying a large suitcase runs towards a train station, and manages to guarsagujas exactly at the time that his train bound for a town identified only as T. The railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded.

Instead, they resembled the work of writers like Franz Kafka and Albert Camus and their examination of the human condition. 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. There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station.

As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity. The switchman then tells a story of certain train rides when the trains arrived at impossible locations. In his piece, Arreola focuses on reality as well. 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. 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.

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

The guwrdagujas 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. 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.


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 stranger still wishes to travel on his train to T. The switchman then relates a guardagjuas of preposterous anecdotes, alluded to below, that illustrate the problems one might encounter during any given journey.

The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. 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. 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.

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

The Switchman

The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T. Views Read Edit View history.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Suddenly, a train approaches and the switchman begins to signal it. But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T.