El arroyo (The Stream)

Élisée Reclus
Illustrations by Eloar Guazzelli
Translation by A. López Rodrigo
Commentary by Nicolás Ortega


ISBN: 978-84-930221-6-0
Books for Children Collection, number 7 / Spanish edition / 1st edition: February 2001 / 18,5 x 23 cm / 160 pages / bicoloured illustrations + portraits of the authors / hardcover with dust jacket / printed at Gráficas Vernetta, Valencia, Spain

Originally published in 1869, this tale is somewhere between science and poetry. We are told the story of a drop of water, which is also the story of humanity. Its author, the geographer Reclus, follows the journey of a drop, which in the form of rain, falls on the mountain and joins the river course to reach the sea.

The Stream is an unclassifiable story halfway between science and poetry, in which the author presents the water cycle by following the course of an imaginary river from its source to its mouth.

Divided into short chapters, the text successively narrates the stream’s changes in configuration, while also offering permanent considerations on the role of man in nature, using simple language that knows how to alternate scientific terms with metaphors and beautiful images. Julio Verne took inspiration in the works of geographer Élisée Reclus, which were extraordinarily popular in Spain in the 30s, to situate the action of his novels.

Eloar Guazzelli, a Brazilian from the state of the Rio Grande do Sul, has drawn a truly large paper river, 45 metres long, that crosses —at times tame, at time dizzying—, more than 150 pages of this book.

"The story of a stream, even the smallest, born and lost in the moss, is the story of the infinite. (...) The whole of our imagination is not enough to encompass the entire circuit of a drop, and that is why we limit ourselves to following it in its course and fall, from its appearance at the source until it joins the mighty river and the vast ocean". (E. Reclus)

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