Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Camilo José Cela has long been .. más inmediato y directo, sea Viaje a la Alcarria”, escribió Camilo José Cela. Information on Journey to the Alcarria by Camilo José Cela. A famous travel book by Camilo José Cela where his offers his impressions Viaje a la Alcarria. Title: Viaje a LA Alcarria. Publisher: Espasa-Calpe SA, España. Publication Date: Binding: Rustica. Book Condition: Como Nuevo. About this title.

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Journey to the Alcarria: The Alcarria is a territory in New Castile, northeast of Madrid, surrounding most of the Guadalajara province. The region is high, rocky, and dry, and is famous for its honey. Cela relishes his encounters with the simple, honest people of the Spanish countryside—the blushing maid in the tavern, the small-town shopkeeper with airs of grandeur lonely for companionship, the old peasant with his donkey who freely shares his bread and blanket with the stranger.

These vignettes are narrated in a fresh, clear prose that is wonderfully evocative. Paperbackpages.

Published January 21st by Atlantic Monthly Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Journey to the Alcarriaplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Journey to the Alcarria. Lists with This Book.

Alcarria is a natural region of New Castile with unclear boundaries. Uncrowded, it is picturesque and rugged, well watered and fertile in the valleys. The steppe and maquis occupy a good part of its soil with a varied and abundant aromatic flora that produces an excellent honey. It is an escape book written with happiness by someone who has “taken the key of the fields”and this is one of the most rigorous, most important contemporary Spanish writers.

View all 4 comments. I downloaded this the night before setting off for a four-day trip to the province of Guadalajara. Its honey is as legendary as its castles. He spent around nine days visiting various small towns, sleeping in local inns and talking to those p I downloaded this the night before setting off for a four-day trip to the province of Guadalajara.

He spent around nine days visiting various small towns, sleeping in local inns and talking to those people he met during his wanderings. He noted down his observations and then produced his Viaje a la Alcarria.

I had only read his La familia de Pascual Duarteand am not sure I have the courage to read his much harder La colmena. Cela had the ability to capture the misery and sordidness of the difficult years in Spain in the prolonged postwar post civil war and post WW2 period.

Journey to the Alcarria: Travels through the Spanish Countryside

It felt like a travel more in time than in space. Although his time was considerably earlier than mine, I could recognize, with dismay, the aspects or elements that camil now considerably changed or disappeared.

Cela feels for children. He is, however, less kind with animals. But the traveler discloses very little and remains a somewhat detached observant. He remains mostly an onlooker and we do not even learn why has uose set out on such a voyage or why has he chosen la Alcarria. There is one point, however, when the traveler identifies himself in passing.

He includes his name, and the place where he was born, in one of the couplets, which he intersperses in his prose. I did not visit all his towns, but did stop in Torijawhere they have now founded a small museum alcaria a few of the rooms in the castle. There they keep the original manuscripts written in notebooks not too different from those I have used in school in my very early age. We also spent some time in Brihuegawhere we had an excellent lunch and where in spite of the rain managed to visit a couple of the Romanesque churches, a castle, and sections of the old wall.


The old inn where Cela spent one night has now been converted into a more grand accommodation and restaurant. But that is not where we went. When coming back to Madrid, after leaving behind the scarcely populated small towns and valleys I was engulfing myself back into an urban agglomeration, seeing the almost threatening large modern building on the outskirts of the big city, I again felt as if I were traversing the tunnel of time.

I will count the days until I can set off for the Alcarria again, and visit the cities further to the south, such as Cifuented and Pastrana.

In the latter they now have a Tapestry Museum where they keep the 15century Flemish tapestries that Cela denounced for their having been transferred to Madrid.

Pastrana owes their recovery to the writer. View all 29 comments.

Journey to the Alcarria: Travels through the Spanish Countryside by Camilo José Cela

Tan solo salvo sus primeras obras de la quema. Pero los motes, los prejuicios sobre los de los pueblos vecinos, el aplastante peso de los oropeles pasados que ahoga la idea de cambiar las cosas, de reivindicar lo propio frente a los razonamientos de los que mandan en la distancia Uno de los mejores libros del siglo XXal decir de Saramago.

Feb 10, Pip rated vixje really liked it Shelves: This travelogue really appealed to me. There was something about the way that the author, referring to himself in the third person as the traveller, observed the countryside and the people in it in great detail, but without judgement.

He wrote about a walking tour he took inonly 6 years after the end of the Spanish Civil War, in an area north-east of Madrid. He met all kinds of people along the way and shared his food, drink and tobacco with fellow travellers, tramps and beggars. He made This travelogue really appealed to me.

He made a rule to stay only one night in each place, not planning his itinerary in advance, but deciding each day which direction to take. It is the way I like to explore a region, too, although I have never done so on foot. His observations were like a snapshot of the time and place. As an old photograph, taken on a picnic somewhere, perhaps, alcarrix reveals so much of the customs, dress and attitude of the times, so his observations give the reader a vivid picture of what the Spanish countryside and the people who inhabited it were like at that time.

I would love to retrace his steps and see how different it is now. From Pareja to Casasana there is no highway, not even a local road, and jse has to climb the steep slope by a goat alcqrria which at times is almost obliterated.

It goes without saying, naturally, that the traveller goes via Casasana. Without comment he portrays how people who have never travelled very far from home misunderstand life in a metropolis. Jan 24, Caroline rated it really liked it Shelves: Very quiet book of observations and descriptions during a trek through the Spanish countryside in the mids.

Leaves the reader to draw his own conclusions; the author simply takes each road and peasant or traveling salesman alcarra he finds them. Interesting to read along with Laurie Lee’s Spanish walk between the wars; this is a people closed in and reserved but jpse unkind. Aug 31, Asinhar rated crla really liked it. Mar 24, Peter Charles rated it it was amazing. My favorite travelogue, period. Lo siguiente que queda Slcarria excepcional.

En este peculiar libro Cela escribe como dios, parco en palabras, pero claro y directo. Es cierto que la historia en si no existe, pero los personajes y las situaciones tienen una autenticidad impresionante. Nov 27, Gohar Khokhar rated it liked it.


Brief, Simple, informative and interesting.

Journey to the Alcarria. Literature, Camilo José Cela at Spain is culture.

Feb 29, tJacksonrichards rated it really liked it. Past splendor overwhelms and in the end exhausts the people’s will; and without force of will, as can be seen in so many cases, by being exclusively occupied with the contemplation of the glories of the past, they leave current problems unsolved.

When the belly is empty and the mind filled with golden memories, the golden memories continually retreat and at last, though no one goes so far as to admit it, there is even doubt whether they ever existed and there is nothing left of them but a benevolent and useless cultural residue. So I’ll take it as a sort of provincial cousin to novels in the ‘flaneur’ tradition see this great LARB essay: Hypnotic passages, like Sebald, where the figures and landscapes fuse into single forms radiant with the trauma of history.

And while it’s told in third person, Cela states in the preface that he’s aiming for a kind of literary realism akin to ‘geography’ based precisely on his time in the Alcarria, so we’re getting a similar ontological conviction to that of Lerner’s.

Moranchel is on the left of the Cifuentes road, at some two hundred paces from the highway. It is a gloomy, dark town that seems to have no business being surrounded by green fields. The old man sits down in the ditch and the traveler lies on his back and looks up at some little clouds, graceful as doves, which are floating in the sky.

A stork flies past, not very high, with a snake in its beak.

Some partridge fly up from a bed of thyme. An adolescent goatherd and a member of acarria flock are sinning one of the oldest of sins in the shade of a hawthorn tree blooming with tiny sweet-smelling flowers, white as orange blossoms. Regardless, a highly recommended flaneur experience. Maybe it’s because, even though they don’t realize it very clearly, a third-class passenger would always be glad to change places with another, even if the other were third-class too.

Apr 11, Kris Kipling rated it it was amazing Shelves: Cela prefaces Journey to the Alcarria with a letter to Gregorio Maranon, to whom he dedicates the book. I didn’t see anything strange during my journey, nothing really shocking – a crime, or a triple birth, or a man possessed by devils – and I’m glad of it now, because since I had planned to tell exactly what I saw for this book isn’t a allcarria, it’s more like a geographyif I start camlio telling horror stories people would say I was exaggerating and nobody would believe me.

A fine, shor Cela prefaces Journey to the Alcarria with a letter to Gregorio Maranon, to whom he dedicates the book. A fine, short travel book in which nothing much of note happens, recounted in a serene, perfectly crafted way. Traveling by foot and by donkey through this little-known region of Spain in the summer ofthe author provides a wealth celw incident and detail. Written in the third person, the book tells us nothing about its traveler’s history, his political views, or much vizje the family that he mentions in the first chapter are not given names or personalities, they are left behind as Cela sets out and not mentioned again.

This series of sketches never wears out his welcome, rambling viiaje leisurely and concluding almost indifferently.