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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When the doctor shakes his head to indicate that there is no hope, the dying man feels better at once. Going back, everything passes much more quickly. With one or two minor exceptions, Carpentier delivers this chronological illusion very successfully. 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 baco Time — Guerra del tiempo Although the story includes other Afro-Cubans, he is not among them.

The furniture in his house grows taller.

Journey Back to the Source by Alejo Carpentier PDF |

He has taken a mistress following a period of mourning after the death of his wife. Once he has reset time’s direction and lit the lamps, the Afro-Cuban sorcerer and his magical reality vanish into the text. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. When Melchor is not there, his closest friends are the household dogs, with whom he shares his life. Once the house xarpentier reassembled, in the room where the marquess lies the tall candles grow longer and longer until a journy puts them out with a light.

The storyteller makes comprehensible and forces the reader back through the text the otherwise indecipherable death of the marquesa by water.

He forgets his own name, and before his christening exists in a world of touch alone. Earlier, along with his male friends, he has visited a dance hall. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.


Nor does the story propose as Carpentier’s later work does that the man’s magic is real in his world though not in ours: Retrieved December 26, from Encyclopedia. Unlike Carpentier’s later work, where the “marvelous” accrues from the juxtaposition of different realities, this story depends on a magician bback an explicitly literary trick. The next day the demolition crew return to find the house has gone, thw time progressing in its normal manner. The infant Don Marciale has a close relationship with the household servant Melchor, with whom he shares secrets.

Journey Back to the Source — critical commentary The principal conceit of this tale is that it is a narrative in which time goes backwards. Don Marcial and the Marquesa get to know each other sourcf the early days of their marriage.

He begins using baby-talk.

He visits his father who is ill in bed. This story is a good example of the literary genre. A door frame lets in the darkness. When he leaves the seminary he enters a period of spiritual doubt and emotional crisis. The house and sourcr contents grow younger. A mumbling old black man roves the ruins of a dilapidated colonial mansion being demolished by fhe. The main story starts with the death of Don Marcial and finishes with his birth.

Nor does he spoil it in the telling.

Journey Back to the Source

He is given extra pastries one day, then sees servants carrying a coffin into the house. Walls have sloughed their paper like snakes shed their old skins; capitals lie fallen against their natural propensities, yet the vines recognize their affinity with the acanthus of fallen columns and twine round them.

Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. First published inthe same year as Jorge Luis Borges ‘s Ficciones and collected in War of Time”Journey Back to the Source” starts from an idea so simple and so universal that a six-year-old has uttered it, “What if we could live our lives backwards?


The Cuban novelist who invented the phrase “lo real maravilloso americano,” Alejo Carpentier considered “Journey Back to the Source” “Viaje a la semilla” to be the story from which his maturity as a writer began. He is oppressed by the legal documentation involved in the sale of his house. While accounts of the story emphasize its portentous allegory, the tale itself, the reader’s journey, is ironic, witty, and fun.

Journey Back to the Source by Alejo Carpentier PDF

Don Marcial gradually recovers and retracts the dying confession he has made to his priest. He begins to play with joueney soldiers, and takes to sitting on the floor and hiding under the clavichord. 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. This was a group of stories all told in radically different styles, first published in English by Victor Gollancz in and translated from the original Spanish by the Bloomsbury Group diarist Frances Partridge.

He finally renounces the light, and all grows dark, warm, moist again. Wells and observes that film runs its action backwards or forwards with equal ease.

The story is an amusing meditation on time and causality — but it is situated within a rational framework of normal temporality. Though the new growth may be unrecognizable, seeds in clay and water do come up again. As he “slips towards life,” everything else in the house rushes still faster and farther back:

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