miércoles, 15 de julio de 2009

BOLAÑO: SOBRE HUCKLEBERRY FINN DE MARK TWAIN




"A mí no me importa a qué raza pertenece: si es blanco, negro o amarillo. Es un hombre y no puede haber nada peor".
(Mark Twain)


Acabo de leer “Nuestro guía en el desfiladero”, un artículo de R. Bolaño donde se habla de Moby Dick de Herman Melville y de Las Aventuras de Huckleberry Finn, para muchos la mejor obra de Mark Twain.



Lo que Bolaño dice sobre Huckleberry Finn, como prefiguración de parte de la obra de William Faulkner y de Hemingway, es maravilloso:


Las aventuras de Huckleberry Finn no es una novela para gente decente sino más bien todo lo contrario, y eso es curioso, pues el éxito de esta novela entre gente decente, que al fin y al cabo son los compradores y consumidores de novela, fue enorme, la novela se vendió (y se sigue vendiendo) en cantidades astronómicas, lo que dice mucho de las pulsiones secretas de la gente decente o de la clase media, esa clase media hacia la que todos nos encaminamos, como soñaba Borges, y sin duda se leyó poco en los círculos más frecuentados por Huck, es decir entre los adolescentes hijos de padres alcohólicos y maltratadores huidos de casa, o entre los estafadores y malhechores, o en el círculo de los negros, aunque según Chester Himes la suerte de Las aventuras de Huckleberry Finn en las bibliotecas de las cárceles de Estados Unidos no es mala”.

Lo que más me gustó del texto de Twain rescatado por Bolaño es el capítulo XXI y XXII.


El capítulo 21 comienza con un conflicto motivado por una serie de insultos de un borracho llamado Boggs hacia el tendero del pueblo, el Coronel Sherburn, quien al tiempo se termina hinchando las pelotas:


-Estoy cansado de este asunto, pero lo aguantaré hasta la una. Hasta la una, ¿oyes?, no más. Si se te ocurre abrir la boca contra mí sólo una vez más después de esa hora, te aseguro que no podrás viajar tan lejos que no te encuentre.




Como el borracho sigue jodiendo, termina por matarlo de un tiro, luego de lo cual se retira lentamente de la escena.


La cuestión es que poco después, la turba rodea el cadáver y un tipo, llamado Buck Harkness, propone "linchar a Sherburn. Después de un minuto decía lo mismo todo el mundo, así que se marcharon, rabiosos, gritando y arrancando todas las cuerdas de tender la ropa que veían para colgarlo con ellas.

La respuesta del coronel Sherburn es fenomenal, la cito casi in extenso:


XXII.  Why the Lynching Bee Failed

   "The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It's amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN! Because you're brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a MAN? Why, a MAN'S safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind — as long as it's daytime and you're not behind him.

   "Do I know you? I know you clear through was born and raised in the South, and I've lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man's a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men in the daytime, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people — whereas you're just AS brave, and no braver. Why don't your juries hang murderers? Because they're afraid the man's friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark — and it's just what they WOULD do.

   "So they always acquit; and then a MAN goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn't bring a man with you; that's one mistake, and the other is that you didn't come in the dark and fetch your masks. You brought PART of a man — Buck Harkness, there — and if you hadn't had him to start you, you'd a taken it out in blowing.

   "You didn't want to come. The average man don't like trouble and danger. YOU don't like trouble and danger. But if only HALF a man — like Buck Harkness, there — shouts 'Lynch him! lynch him!' you're afraid to back down — afraid you'll be found out to be what you are — COWARDS — and so you raise a yell, and hang yourselves on to that half-a-man's coat-tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you're going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is — a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness. Now the thing for YOU to do is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching's going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they'll bring their masks, and fetch a MAN along. Now LEAVE — and take your half-a-man with you" — tossing his gun up across his left arm and cocking it when he says this.

   The crowd washed back sudden, and then broke all apart, and went tearing off every which way, and Buck Harkness he heeled it after them, looking tolerable cheap. I could a stayed if I wanted to, but I didn't want to.

3 comentarios:

  1. bolaño y twain, uno mas genio que el otro!

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  2. es hermoso como escribe bolaño! nunca lei nada.
    gracias por la recomendacion implicita!

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