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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Don Marcial only does moderately well in his college examinations, and then learns less and less at school.

Journey Back to the Source

Learn how your comment data is processed. The story is an amusing meditation on time and causality — but it is situated within a rational framework of normal temporality.

Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Don Marcial gradually recovers and retracts the dying confession he has made to his priest. They get dressed up in old clothes from the attic and hold a musical party where he flirts with a young girl.

He finally renounces the light, and all grows dark, warm, moist again. Journey Back to the Source Viaje al semilla was written inbut first published in in Havana, Cuba as part of the collection soudce The War of Time — Guerra del tiempo He begins using baby-talk. In a reversal of time, the house is re-assembled, and the man enters the house where Don Marcial, its owner, is carpenier on his death bed.

Journey Back to the Source by Alejo Carpentier PDF

Yet sourcw ironic balance is maintained: So they sit out the day. He carpenfier his father who is carpentjer in bed. This antithesis is too simple, since the fiction enacts an exuberant, uniquely human contemplation of the dismal reality, always and forever alejjo, of the annihilation of our last trace. 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.


For a more extended example of its kind, see his novel, The Kingdom of this World El reino de este mundo. The principal conceit of this tale is that it is a narrative in which time goes backwards. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Outside the house, before the old man acts, a rich, baroque, typically encrusted description establishes the simultaneity of decay and renewal.

Carpentier is not the first author to put time in reverse. While accounts of the story emphasize its portentous allegory, the tale itself, the reader’s journey, is ironic, witty, and fun.

Although the story includes other Afro-Cubans, he is not among them. Earlier, along with his male friends, he has visited a dance hall.

The furniture in his house grows taller. An old Negro sits in a garden where he watches an ancient house in the process of being demolished.

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. When he leaves the seminary he enters a period of spiritual doubt and emotional crisis.

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

Thus, gradually, delightedly, the reader realizes that he is moving not forward but backward in time. He begins to play with toy soldiers, and takes to sitting on the floor and hiding under the clavichord. With its search for illusory origins, its loving descriptions of colonial luxury, its contrast between past and present, its typical thee than individual protagonist, and its tk of the material decline of an effete aristocracy, the story adumbrates much of Carpentier’s later writing.


Wells and observes that film runs its action backwards or forwards with equal ease. The main story starts with the death of Don Marcial and finishes with his birth.

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

The infant Don Marciale has a close relationship with the household servant Melchor, with whom he shares secrets. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text aleo your bibliography. Like Laurence Sterne in Tristram Shandy, whose hero tells his story carpentirr 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.

He is oppressed by the legal documentation involved in the sale of his house. 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.