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Robert McCrum sobre Swarup

Las pequeñas estrellas de la película. Fuente: the observer

Y el tema de Slumdog millonaire sigue dando vueltas en las páginas del suplemento "The Observer" en The Guardian. Ahora es el serio Robert McCrum quien ha salido a la palestra para defender este "cuento de hadas" escrito por Vikas Swarup (publicado en Anagrama bajo el título ¿Quién quiere ser millonario?) y convertido en película exitosísima por Danny Boyle. McCrum habla, en primer lugar, del propio cuentos de hadas del autor hecho realidad:

Consider this fairy tale for our times. In 2003, partly inspired by Charles Ingram, the "coughing major" on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, a would-be writer named Vikas Swarup, an Indian diplomat from Allahabad, fulfilled a lifetime's ambition in the final days of his posting to Britain. After two months at his laptop, Swarup completed a first novel about a TV quiz show winner accused of cheating his way to a million. Entitled Q&A, it was published in 2005 to good reviews. The Observer described it as "a brilliant story, as colossal, vibrant and chaotic as India itself". In an overcrowded bazaar, Q&A could have joined that melancholy heap of promising debuts that drift into oblivion. Instead, the novel caught the attention of a sharp-eyed reader at Film4, which took an option. Simon "The Full Monty" Beaufoy was commissioned to write a script. Finally, in a cinematic ripple-dissolve, Q&A became Slumdog Millionaire

Luego, se dedica a resaltar las diferencias entre la novel de Swarup y la película de Boyle, recalcando que ninguno de esos cambios traicionan el espíritu de la novela a pesar de que el mismo Swarup, protegiéndose, tomó distancia en su momento de la película. Un apunte notable de McCrum es señalar que la novela, como la película, logra hacer de cada respuesta acertada un pequeño cuento en sí mismo:

Swarup's original, which has the simplicity of a good yarn, is rendered quite faithfully on the screen. So, for instance, each chapter of Q&A is a short story, dramatising one episode of the hero's journey to fabulous wealth, culminating in the apposite quiz question, a device sustained by the movie. Q&A is popular fiction at its best and brightest. The prose is efficient and the characters are briskly drawn in strong, sharp colours. Swarup clearly understands his job. As an exercise in genre, the novel is a triumph and that was before the movie-makers got to work

Más adelante, explica lo que para todos debe ser obvio: la novela de Swarup no pretende ser lo que no es (una novela de Rushdie, por ejemplo) sino lo que consigue ser, un cuento de hadas (de estirpe dickensiana anotó con certeza un amigo mío), una novela popular, incluso una ficción comercial muy bien hecha donde se relata la historia de un triunfo inverosímil como todas las fábulas, incluso las que (como en el caso real de la película y la novela) se hacen realidad.

Q&A was a commercial fiction by a writer who has confessed that, growing up, he was "a sucker for thrillers". Fair enough. Apart from a few routine nods to the richness of Indian English in the use of words like "chai wallah", "chawl" and "lathi charge", Swarup writes in standard British English, as you'd expect from a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. If you want a more authentic, complex and deeper picture of Mumbai, read Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance and Such a Long Journey). If you want a more subtle version of Indian modernity, read Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger). Both of these, in turn, are just the most visible of an astonishing new generation of remarkable Indian writers liberated by the economic miracle of India's transformation since the 1990s. Swarup has followed Q&A with a crime novel, Six Suspects (Transworld). But his fairy-tale debut is now that global phenomenon, the tie-in edition of a multi-Oscar-winning movie. The arc of his personal narrative is complete, with a happy ending.

La parte más divertida del artículo, sin duda, es el codazo final que le manda a Salman Rushdie y su ferviente promoción anti-slumdog millonaire. Es la cereza del pastel que corona el éxito -jamás imaginado- y el happy ending de Vikas Swarup, un oscuro diplomático con ganas de contar una historia que se convirtió de pronto en un escritor reconocido, y por consiguiente odiado, del Londres literario:

But wait! There's one final twist: Swarup has just received the supreme accolade of an attack from Salman Rushdie. The author of Midnight's Children has scolded both book and film for piling "impossibility upon impossibility". Rushdie has said that "the problem with this adaptation begins with the work being adapted". Welcome to literary London, Mr Swarup.

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1:48 p.m.

Apreciado Iván Thays...acabo de ver la película aquí en Colombia. No puedo decir que me encantó, pero si te puedo decir que en este caso me quedo con la apreciación de Salman Rushdie. Prefiero leer el libro...
Otra cosa...vaya que un lugar llamado oreja de perro si es bueno..
Un abrazo.    



4:17 p.m.

y yo aquí sin poder leer el libro aún. me encantó ese codazo al rushie, auch!    



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