Journey Back to the Source: Alejo Carpentier: Viaje a la semilla (; Journey Back to the Source), for instance, set in 19th-century Cuba, is told in reverse. The Cuban novelist who invented the phrase “lo real maravilloso americano,” Alejo Carpentier considered “Journey Back to the Source” (“Viaje a la semilla”) to . Journey Back to the Source Analysis and Quiz According to Carpentier, language is an artificial, alienating construct, almost like structured.

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Journey Back to the Source

With its search for illusory origins, its loving descriptions of colonial luxury, its contrast between past and present, its typical rather carpentire individual protagonist, and its account of the material bac of an effete aristocracy, the story adumbrates much of Carpentier’s later writing. Like Laurence Sterne in Tristram Shandy, whose hero tells his story from the moment of his conception, or Machado de Assis in Epitaph for a Small Winner, whose hero begins his story just after his death, Carpentier starts from a conceit—a smart, clever, ingenious idea.

A door frame lets in the darkness. 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. Journey Back to the Source Viaje al semilla was written inbut first published in in Havana, Cuba as part of the collection entitled The War of Time — Guerra del tiempo For a more extended example of its kind, see his novel, The Kingdom of this World El reino de este mundo.

Since “seed” in English denotes semen, which is masculine, spurting out to join the egg, it cannot be used to describe the trip back up the vaginal canal to our source. He forgets his own name, and before his christening exists in a world of touch alone.

The furniture in his house grows taller. A mumbling old black man roves the ruins of a dilapidated colonial mansion being demolished by workmen. The main story starts with the death of Don Marcial and finishes with his birth. The next day the workmen return, but the house they were to demolish is gone, the statue of Ceres carted off and sold.


Carpentier at Wikipedia Background, biography, magical alfjo, major works, literary style, further reading. But in fact the composition of the story is a little more complex than this conceit would suggest. Relatives and friends gather to mark her passing. This story is a good example of the literary genre.

Nor does he spoil it in the telling. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. As he “slips towards life,” everything else xlejo the house rushes still faster and farther back: Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Going back, everything passes much more quickly.

Journey Back to the Source (Viaje a la Semilla) by Alejo Carpentier, |

Learn how your comment data is processed. Critics dispute whether the conclusion represents a glorious return to nature or a dismal annihilation of the human race. Once the house is reassembled, in the room where the marquess lies the tall candles grow longer and longer until a nun puts them out with a light. Although the story includes other Afro-Cubans, he is not among them. Unlike Carpentier’s later work, where the “marvelous” accrues from the juxtaposition of different realities, this story depends on a magician and an explicitly literary trick.

Thus, gradually, delightedly, the reader realizes that he is moving not forward but backward in time. In the penultimate section of the story this reversal of time accelerates very rapidly.

The ruined marquess trades bankruptcy for mourning, mourning for romance, romance for spiritual crisis, spiritual crises for toy grenadiers, the groom, and the only true perspective on a house—the one from the floor. Your email address will not be published.

Journey Back to the Source by Alejo Carpentier PDF

He begins using baby-talk. This antithesis is too simple, since the fiction enacts an exuberant, uniquely human contemplation of the dismal reality, always and forever impending, of the annihilation of our last trace. The cadpentier conceit of this tale is that it is a narrative in which time goes backwards. Nor does the story propose as Soucre later work does that the man’s magic is real in his world though not in ours: The next day the demolition crew return to find the house has gone, and time progressing in its normal manner.

Journey Back to the Source by Alejo Carpentier PDF | – Part

In a reversal of time, the house is re-assembled, and the man enters the house where Don Marcial, its owner, is lying on his death bed. He feels under the weather after celebrating his minority with friends. Then the natural world around him turns back to its roots and origins, leaving a blank where his house once stood. When he leaves the seminary he enters a period of spiritual doubt and emotional crisis. They move back into the city from their country estate and get married.


Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. In Spanish the title of the story, “Viaje a la semilla,” literally means “journey” or “voyage” to the “seed,” which is feminine.

Carpentier in Depth Spanish video documentary and interview with Carpentier The storyteller makes comprehensible and forces the reader back through the text the otherwise indecipherable death of the marquesa by water.

Though the new growth may be unrecognizable, seeds in clay and water do come up again.

He has taken a mistress following a period of mourning after the death of his wife. Then, copy and paste thw text into your bibliography or works cited list.

When Melchor is not there, his closest friends are the household dogs, with whom he shares his life. About Us Advertising Clients Contact. The story is an amusing meditation on time and causality — but it is situated within a rational framework of normal temporality.

He is given extra pastries one day, then sees servants carrying a coffin into the house. His mistress gets out of bed, gets dressed, and leaves the house.

Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 26, from Encyclopedia. They get dressed up in old clothes from the attic and hold a musical party where he flirts with a young girl.

When the doctor shakes his head to indicate that there is no cxrpentier, the dying man feels better at once. The house and its contents grow younger.