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Compromiso literario (al británico modo)

En 1976, Terry Eagleton publicó Marxismo y Crítica Literaria. Fuente: jahsonic

Por el blog “The Literary Saloon” me entero de este artículo de Terry Eagleton publicado en “The Guardian”. El célebre profesor de la Universidad de Manchester, conocido por todos los que alguna vez estudiamos literatura por su didáctica introducción ”¿Qué es la literatura?”, se pregunta por qué no existe más en Inglaterra, como existía hace unas décadas, la figura del escritor comprometido con la izquierda y dedicado a fustigar los vicios y defectos del capitalismo (para ver un perfil de ese tipo de autor, leer Koba, el temible de Martin Amis). Sólo Harold Pinter se salva, pero no sin un quiñe.

Estos fragmentos son los más interesantes: “For almost the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life. One might make an honourable exception of Harold Pinter, who has wisely decided that being a champagne socialist is better than being no socialist at all; but his most explicitly political work is also his most artistically dreary.

(…)

It was left to migrants (Naipaul, Rushdie, Sebald, Stoppard) to write some of our most innovative literature for us, as the Irish had earlier done. But migrants, as the work of VS Naipaul and Tom Stoppard testifies, are often more interested in adopting than challenging the conventions of their place of refuge. The same had been true of Joseph Conrad, Henry James and TS Eliot. Wilde, typically perverse, challenged and conformed at the same time.

(…)

There are a number of factors in such renegacy. Money, adulation and that creeping conservatism known as growing old play a part, as does the apparent collapse of an alternative to capitalism. Most British writers welcome migrants, dislike Tony Blair, and object to the war in Iraq. But scarcely a single major poet or novelist is willing to look beyond such issues to the global capitalism that underlies them. Instead, it is assumed that there is a natural link between literature and left-liberalism. One glance at the great names of English literature is enough to disprove this prejudice.



Como siempre gracias a Erika Almenara, traductora oficial de este blog, les dejo la traducción de los párrafos:

“Es casi la primera vez, en dos siglos, que no existe poeta británico notable, dramaturgo o novelista preparado para cuestionar los fundamentos del estilo de vida occidental. Harold Pinter representa una honorable excepción, quien decidió astutamente que ser un "socialista de champán" era mejor que no ser socialista en forma alguna. Sin embargo, su trabajo político más explícito es también su obra artística más aburrida (…)

Se les encargó a los emigrantes (Naipaul, Rushdie, Sebald,
Stoppard) la tarea de escribir la que consideramos nuestra literatura más innovadora, así como lo hicieran los irlandeses en el pasado. Sin embargo, los emigrantes, como muestra el trabajo realizado por VS Naipaul y Tom Stoppard, se muestran más interesados en adoptar, y no en desafiar, las convenciones de su lugar de asilo. Lo mismo sucedió en el caso de Joseph Conrad, Henry James y TS Eliot. Wilde, típicamente perverso, desafiaba y adoptaba a la vez(…)

Existe una serie de factores en dicha postura. Dinero, adulación y el conservadurismo sigiloso conocido como un ascendente viejo estilo por una parte, así como el evidente colapso de una alternativa frente al capitalismo. La mayoría de escritores británicos acogen a los emigrantes, a diferencia de Tony Blair, y se oponen a la guerra en Iraq. Pero apenas un sólo poeta o novelista serio desea ver más allá de dichos asuntos: el capitalismo global detrás de ellos. En lugar de eso, se asume que existe un vínculo natural entre literatura y "liberalismo de izquierda". Una sola mirada a los nombres más importantes de la literatura inglesa es suficiente para desmentir este prejuicio.

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6:30 a. m.

En defensa de la verdad y no de Harold Pinter (a quien,por cierto,gustoso defendería),desecho la traducción del párrafo correspondiente de Erika,el cual cambio por:
"Se podría dar una honorable excepción en Harold Pinter quien con inteligencia decidió que ser un socialista amarillento es mejor que no ser en nada socialista;pero lo más "comprometido" de su obra es también lo más artísticamente opacado".    



8:41 a. m.

ya que estamos, propongo otra más apropiada que las otras dos:

"Una honorable excepción es la de Harold Pinter, quien ha decidido, sabiamente, que ser un socialista de cóctel es mejor que no ser socialista en lo absoluto; pero su obra más explícitamente política también es la más artísticamente aburrida."    



7:18 p. m.

Suena bien 8.41 AM pero:
a)transforma un condicional en indicativo; b)"sabiamente" es demasiado cercano a "wisely"; c)"aburrido" es algo alejado de "dreary", d)"socialista de coctel" es una expresión inventada (champagne no es sólo la bebida).    



3:25 p. m.

y aqui la respuesta de robert mc henry:

Questions for Professor Eagleton
from Britannica Blog by Robert McHenry

http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/BritannicaBlog/~3/134094229/

The English literary scholar and very slowly recovering Marxist Terry Eagleton last week published an article in the Guardian lamenting the fact that, as he put it, “there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life.” He grants a partial nod to the politically daft playwright Harold Pinter but is forced to concede that “his most explicitly political work is also his most artistically dreary.”

Eagleton looks back across the last two centuries or so of English literature and points with pride to those rebels who set the standard of which our contemporaries are falling so sadly short. From the Romantics he claims Shelley and Blake and, very dubiously, Byron (“to scourge the corruptions of the ruling class” is surely not quite the same thing as questioning the foundations of the western way of life). Clough, Carlyle, Ruskin, and Morris account for the rest of the 19th century. Finding some names not included in that list is left to the reader as an exercise. (Some hints: Tenny—, Brown—, Arn—.)

So, we learn, “eminent” is an uncertain and fairly flexible adjective.

The good professor gets down to bad cases for the moderns. Waugh, bad. Larkin bad. Hare and especially Hitchens, bad. (Hitchens? Not a poet or a playwright or a novelist. One suspects he’s in there just because he is such a public renegade and so must be bastinadoed at any opportunity.) Murdoch and Lessing, almost good but at the last moment, bad. Martin Amis, really bad. Who is good? Well, Pinter, of course (thank heavens for that flexible adjective!) and the poet Hugh MacDiarmid. That seems to be it. What? No Orwell? Well, no; though he was a reliably left journalist, he was also an honest one, and those anti-Stalinist novels place him beyond the pale.

Eagleton has been particularly disappointed by Salman Rushdie, taking his recent acceptance of a knighthood as final proof of his apostasy. But then he remembers that a number of other “migrants” have been similarly unsatisfactory. He mentions Henry James, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, V.S. Naipaul, W.G. Sebald, and Tom Stoppard in tones that suggest that these writers (reasonably eminent all, would you agree?) are more to be pitied than censured.

Lining up those lists of names, one could come to quite different conclusions. Here are some questions I’d ask.

1. The very greatest writers among all these seem to be on the “bad” list. Is it possible that Professor Eagleton’s political views are simply not that attractive or intelligent?

2. Many of the greatest are those “migrants.” Can he offer a guess why they all were drawn to a culture whose very foundations are supposed to be so in need of attack?

3. Many of them began their writing careers more or less in agreement with him (or at least so he wishes to claim) and then gradually changed their views. Given their eminence and their number, is it possible that it is Professor Eagleton who has failed to learn anything from experience?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_McHenry    



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