miércoles, 23 de mayo de 2018

Gracias, Philip

Ayer murió Philip Roth, quizás el autor que más leí; debe estar palo y palo con Cormac McCarthy y un poco por arriba de Richard Ford. El New Jersey judío de Roth, el Northeast protestante de Ford y el Oeste violento de McCarthy son galaxias en ese universo que son los US of A.

Mucho de lo que leí de Roth - como American Pastoral, Portnoy’s Complaint, The Professor of Desire y The Human Stain – lo leí antes de tener mi blog. En el blog tengo apuntes de Patrimony, Counterlife, Letting go, The Ghost Writer y Nemesis. Con citas de esos cinco libros armé este homenaje veloz. 

Seré egoísta pero no siento tristeza por su muerte. Lo que siento es una enorme gratitud.

1. a vida es inverosímil. "He had only to distinguish for himself between the impact one had on the lives of others and the sheer momentum of fate - chance, luck, accident, for which no man who had merely crossed another's path could be held responsible." (Letting go, p. 788)

2. Y eso queda claro al final, en el cementerio. “My mother and the other dead had been brought here by the impelling force of what was, after all, a more unlikely accident – having once lived.” (Patrimony, p. 20).

3. Aferrarse a la memoria es aferrarse a la vida. “You mustn’t forget anything – that’s the inscription on his coat of arms. To be alive, to him, is to be made of memory – to him if a man’s not made of memory, he’s made of nothing.” (Patrimony, p. 124).

4. Y con el recuerdo hacemos historias, de todo eso que es la vida humana creamos otra cosa que refleja o reflecciona sobre aquello.  “As he spoke I was thinking, the kind of stories that people turn life into, the kind of lives that people turn stories into.” (Counterlife, p. 111)

5. El trabajo del novelista es ese: recordar, registrar, haciendo original lo banal, haciendo universal lo individual. “Most people (beginning with the novelist – himself, his family, just about everybody he knows) are absolutely unoriginal, and his job is to make them appear otherwise.” (Counterlife, p. 156)

6. Y el oficio parece en sí mismo banal. “I turn sentences around. That’s my life. I write a sentence and then I turn it around. Then I look at it and then I turn it around again. Then I have lunch. Then I come back in and I write another sentence. Then I have tea and turn the new sentence around. Then I read the two sentences over and turn them both around. Then I lie down on my sofa and think. Then I get up and throw them up and start from the beginning.” (The Ghost Writer, p. 17-18)

7. La vida sigue adelante signada siempre por esa contingencia. "Sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're not. Any biography is chance, and, beginning at conception, chance - the tyranny of contingency - is everything." (Nemesis, p. 243)

8. Y después se termina, aunque la muerte parezca tan inverosímil como la propia vida. “even as an adult one continues, like a child, to believe that when someone dies it’s some kind of trick, that death isn’t entirely death, that they are in the box and not in the box, that they are somehow capable of jumping out from behind the door and crying, ‘Had you fooled!’ or turning up on the street to follow you around." (Counterlife, p. 221)

9. En su defensa, la muerte tiene un costado positivo. “‘What happened to Charlie Raskus?’ ‘He’s dead. He died. Natural causes. He wasn’t that old. Even the bastards die’, my father said. ‘That’s about the only good thing you can say for death – it gets the sons of bitches too’.” (Patrimony, p. 204)

10. Aunque en el algún lado nunca alcance, siempre necesitemos un poquito más. “‘I was a faithful husband, a loyal American, a proud Jew, I gave two wonderful boys every opportunity I myself never had, and what I am demanding is only what I deserve – another eighty-six years! Why’, he would ask him, ‘should a man die at all?’ And of course, he would have been right to ask. It’s a good question.” (Patrimony, p. 134)

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