Este robot, manejado por computadora, es símbolo dela tecnología moderna
Apocalipsis
Marco Denevi (1922- ) is a popular contemporary fiction writer and playwright from Argentina. Since- first winning at-claim in 1955 with his novel Rosaura a las diez, he has been one of Argentina's most prolific writers. In particular, Denevi is very- skilled in writing extremely short stories. In Falsificaciones (1966), a book of short prose fantasies, he borrowed facts, situations, and characters from classical mythology and world literature and rewrote them to comment on contemporary society. Denevi is particularly concerned about the effects of technology on modern humanity, a theme that appears with regularity in his work.
ANTES DE LEER
Palabras importantes y modismos
a fines de at the end of
alcanzar to reach; to achieve
bastar to be sufficient; to be enough
dar un paso to take a step
empezar (ie) a to begin
      +  infinitivo  (doing something)
terminar por
at the end of
     +  infinitivo (doing something)
REPASO DE VERBOS:   Complete las oraciones con el preterite de los verbos entre parentesis.

  1.    Yo un boton y las maquinas empezaron a funcionar (TOCAR).

  2.    El accidente en la carretera a Burgos (OCURRIR).

  3.    Los hombres en la oscuridad (DESAPARECER).

  4.    Pablo las maquinas (DESCONECTAR).

  5.    En el camino yo me con una grande piedra (TROPEZAR).

  6.    Ayer, por un momento, yo en mi ex esposa (PENSAR).

  7.    De pronto yo me cuenta de que estaba solo en el mundo (DAR) .

  8.    Nosotros a las 5:00 de la tarde (LLEGAR).

  9.    Ellos a pensar en la extincion de la raza humana (COMENZAR).

  10.    Ayer nosotros la llegada de los nuevos estudiantes (VER).


ESTRATEGIAS PARA LEER

Anticipating Content

Owing to the high correlation between subject familiarity and reading comprehension, you should take full advantage of all the clues that may serve as a guide to understanding the content of what you are reading. Among such clues, you might consider information about the author of the piece. Reading a novel by Agatha Christie, for example, we expect to be involved in the process of solving a mystery, since we know that Agatha Christie wrote this kind of fiction. In addition to biographical information, titles are also important. Elements such as titles, prefaces, and epigraphs, while not a part of the story proper, do convey a voice and a perspective—a point of view that enables you to construct an image of a work before you actually read it. Before you read this story, do the following:


  1.    Review the meaning of the word apocalypse.
  2.    Try to recall other works of fiction that deal with the theme of the apocalypse.
  3.    Quickly reread the brief biographical introduction to Denevi. Is there information supplied here that
            seems to relate to the title of the story?
  4.    Suppose for a moment that you were an author writing on the theme of the apocalypse. Can you imagine
            some of the scenarios you might employ to describe the events implied by this term?

Contexto Cultural

Although at first glance it might appear that Denevi's story about the collapse of modern society has little to do with Argentine culture, it is important to bear in mind that he was born in a suburb of Buenos Aires, the second-largest city in continental Latin America. Far from being a sleepy tropical town, Buenos Aires is one of the world's largest inland port cities and the center of most commercial activity in Argentina. In fact, the city of Buenos Aires, with a population of over ten million, is surrounded by the province of Buenos Aires, which is made up of twenty-two smaller municipalities. Since the nineteenth century, the port city of Buenos Aires has been home not only to successive waves of immigrants but also to the nation's commercial and technological base.

Argentina is an advanced country. In the 1920s, when Denevi was growing up, its gross national product and standard of living equaled those of other developed countries such as Canada and Australia. It is not unusual, then, for a writer such as Marco Denevi to use the effects of technology on modern humanity as a theme. After all, he was raised in a nation and, more particularly, in a city that experienced considerable urbanization and was profoundly affected by technological growth and development.

An interesting feature of "Apocalipsis," one that can best be understood by thinking of Argentina's emphasis on Europe as the center of world culture, is the long list of humankind's cultural achievements—mostly based on European models. To some extent, Denevi's story makes the statement that many countries in Latin America are not "underdeveloped," nor are they unaware of European culture. In fact, in many ways, they emulate it.  Now, here's your story:

Apocalipsis

La extinción de la raza de los hombres se situa aproximadamente a fines del siglo XXXII. La cosa ocurrio asi: las maquinas habian alcanzado tal perfection que los hombres ya no necesitaban comer, ni dormir, ni hablar, ni leer, ni escribir, ni p ensar, ni hacer nada. Les bastaba apretar1 un boton y las maquinas lo hacian todo por ellos. Gradualmente fueron desapareciendo las mesas, las sillas, las rosas, los discos con las nueve sinfonias de Beethoven, las tiendas de antigüedades,2 los vinos de Burdeos,3 las golondrinas,4 los tapices flamencos,5 todo Verdi, el ajedrez, los telescopies, las catedrales goticas, los estadios de futbol, la Piedad de Miguel Angel,6 10 los mapas, las ruinas del Foro Trajano,7 los automoviles, el arroz, las sequoias gigantes, el Partenon. Solo habia maquinas. Después los hombres empezaron a notar que ellos mismos iban desapareciendo paulatinamente8 y que en cambio las maquinas se multiplicaban. Basto poco tiempo para que el numero de los hombres quedase reducido a la mitad y el de las maquinas se duplicase. Las maquinas terminaron por ocupar todos los sitios disponibles.9 No se podia dar un paso ni hacer un ademan10 sin tropezarse con11 una de ellas. Finalmente los hombres fueron eliminados. Como el último se olvido de desconectar las maquinas, desde entonces seguimos funcionando.

l to push 2 antiques 3 Bordeaux 4 swallows 5  tapices... Flemish tapestries 6 Piedad . . . Michelangelo's Pieta (a representation of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus Christ in her lap) 7 Foro... Trojan's (Roman) Forum 8  gradually 9 available 10 gesture 11 tropezarse... tripping over



ESTUDIO DE PALABRAS

A. Complete las oraciones con palabras o expresiones de Palabras importantes y modismos.

       No se podia sin tropezarse con una de las maquinas.    del siglo XXXII la raza humana va a ser extinta.    A los hombres les apretar un boton y las maquinas lo hacian todo por ellos.   Despues de algun tiempo, los hombres notar que las maquinas se multiplicaban.   Las maquinas ocupar todos los sitios.   Las maquinas habian tal perfeccion que los hombres ya no necesitaban comer.

B. While recognizing cognates is a first step in word guessing, it is also possible to use your knowledge of how individual words are constructed to determine what they mean. Recognizing suffixes and prefixes can enable you to deduce meaning quickly. Listed on the following page are three common Spanish suffixes and examples of each.

DESPUÉS DE LEER CUESTIONARIO

  1. En que siglo, segun el autor, se situa la extincion de la raza humana?

  2. Que ya no necesitaba hacer la gente?
  3. Que cosas gradualmente fueron desapareciendo?
  4. Que es lo que habia quedado?
  5. Quienes empezaron a desaparecer?
  6. De que se olvido el ultimo hombre?
  7. Quien habia en la ultima oracion del cuento? Cual es la importancia de esta voz?
 -mente  normalmente  normally
  -dad, -tad   individualidad . . . libertad   individuality . . . liberty
 -ologia  sicologia  psychology

Based on the preceding models, guess the meaning of the following words.

  1.    biologia    
  2.    clandestinamente    
  3.    inmortalidad    
  4.    perfectamente    
  5.    personalidad    
  6.    sociologia    
  7.    facultad    
  8.    criminologia    

ANALISIS DEL TEXTO

  1.    Lea atentamente la description de la desaparicion gradual de los objetos (11. 6—11). La enumeration es caotica pero no antojadiza (whimsical). Clasifique los elementos segun las diferentes categorias a que pertenecen.
  2.   Se observa un contraste constante, casi un contrapunto, entre frases nominales largas y cortas: «los discos con las nueve sinfonias de Beethoven (1. 6), ... , todo Verdi (1. 8).» Describa el efecto que produce este contraste.
  3.   La larga enumeration de los objetos que «fueron desapareciendo» es. seguida por una aflrmacion de tres palabras: "Solo habia maquinas» (1. 11). A su juicio, ,;cual es la intention del autor al utilizar este recurso estilistico?

PERSPECTIVA PERSONAL

  1.    iCree Ud. que la vision apocaliptica de Marco Denevi es acertada? Explique.
  2.    iExiste alguna conexion entre las «maquinas» del cuento y la "realidad virtual" tal como la conocemos en la actualidad?
  3.    iCual es su opinion con respecto a la tecnologia y, en especial, a la cibernetica?