Jonathan Lethem sobre 2666
La noticia de la semana (¿quién dijo Obama?) ha sido la aparición, por todo lo alto, de la edición norteamericana de la novela 2666 de Roberto Bolaño editada por Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Yo tuve la oportunidad de ver, en manos de Lali Gubern, en las oficinas de Anagrama, la edición de 900 páginas en cuyos lomos se leía la cifra del título. Impresionante. En Amazon es la oferta de la semana, de 30 dólares a sólo 18. ¡Compre ya! La reseña del libro en NYT, por cierto, no podía ser dejado en manos de cualquiera. Tenía que ser un grande como Jonathan Lethem quien la hiciera. Y es sumamente elogiosa. Dice que es el escritor latinoamericano más universal del momento:
In the literary culture of the United States, Bolaño has become a talismanic figure seemingly overnight. The “overnight” is the result of the compressed sequence of the translation and publication of his books in English, capped by the galvanic appearance, last year, of “The Savage Detectives,” an eccentrically encompassing novel, both typical of Bolaño’s work and explosively larger, which cast the short stories and novellas that had preceded it into English in a sensational new light. By bringing scents of a Latin American culture more fitful, pop-savvy and suspicious of earthy machismo than that which it succeeds, Bolaño has been taken as a kind of reset button on our deplorably sporadic appetite for international writing, standing in relation to the generation of García Márquez, Vargas Llosa and Fuentes as, say, David Foster Wallace does to Mailer, Updike and Roth. As with Wallace’s “Infinite Jest,” in “The Savage Detectives” Bolaño delivered a genuine epic inoculated against grandiosity by humane irony, vernacular wit and a hint of punk-rock self-effacement. Any suspicion that literary culture had rushed to sentimentalize an exotic figure of quasi martyrdom was overwhelmed by the intimacy and humor of a voice that earned its breadth line by line, defying traditional fictional form with a torrential insouciance (...) Bolaño has been, because of his bookishness, compared to Jorge Luis Borges. But from the evidence of a prose always immediate, spare, rapturous and drifting, always cosmopolitan and enchanted, the Bolaño boom should be taken as immediate cause for a revival of the neglected master Julio Cortázar. (Cortázar’s name appears in “2666,” but then it may seem that every human name appears there and that Bolaño’s book is reading your mind as you read it.)
Luego, de compararlo con Murakami ("If the word “unflinching” didn’t exist I’d invent it to describe these nearly 300 pages, yet Bolaño never completely abandons those reserves of lyricism and irony that make the sequence as transporting as it is grueling. The nearest comparison may be to Haruki Murakami’s shattering fugue on Japanese military atrocities in Mongolia, which sounds the moral depths in “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” Bolaño’s method, like Murakami’s, encapsulates and disgorges dream and fantasy, at no cost to the penetration of his realism") la nota termina con las palabras que todo escritor quisiera oír decir de su propia obra: "Bolaño ha demostrado que es capaz de hacer cualquier cosa" El absoluto poder sobre la literatura. Dice:
A novel like “2666” is its own preserving machine, delivering itself into our hearts, sentence by questing, unassuming sentence; it also becomes a preserving machine for the lives its words fall upon like a forgiving rain, fictional characters and the secret selves hidden behind and enshrined within them: hapless academic critics and a hapless Mexican boxer, the unavenged bodies deposited in shallow graves. By writing across the grain of his doubts about what literature can do, how much it can discover or dare pronounce the names of our world’s disasters, Bolaño has proven it can do anything, and for an instant, at least, given a name to the unnamable. Now throw your hats in the air.
¡Sí! ¡Sombreros al aire para celebrar el éxito de Roberto Bolaño!