La novela de Achy Obejas
La cubana Achy Obejas asumió la muy peliaguda misión de traducir al castellano la verbalmente compleja novela de Junot Díaz, La maravillosa vida de Oscar Wao. Y si no falló en el intento es porque ella también es escritora, como lo prueba la publicación de Ruins (Akashic Books), ubicada en el llamado "periodo especial" en Cuba que tanta literatura ha dado, y que tan positivamente ha sido reseñada este domingo en The New York Time. Dice la reseña:
In Havana, where plastic bags are carefully rinsed and hung out to dry, even the high colonial ceilings become a usable resource when too many people share a space. With scrap lumber and a few bricks you can build an interior second story — a “barbacoa,” as these illegal modifications are known. Structurally sound? Sure, until the tropical rains hit, at which point you pray. Or the person living under you prays, as his ceiling creaks beneath the added weight.Such is the predicament of Usnavy, the beleaguered hero of Achy Obejas’s new novel, “Ruins.” Usnavy and his family could use a barbacoa of their own. He sleeps on a cot so his wife and 14-year-old daughter can share the one bed in their damp and tiny room. (...) “Ruins” takes place in 1994, at the height of the “Special Period” in Cuba, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the tightening of American sanctions, when Castro announced that anyone wanting to leave wouldn’t be stopped. All around Usnavy, his friends and neighbors are building rafts. Usnavy’s own wife betrays the revolution by feeding their daughter one of the marinated slabs their neighbor sells as meat. Whether it really is meat, or just swatches of old blanket, is beside the point: the neighbor is engaged in capitalist bisnes, and Usnavy is opposed, even after he stealthily, and guiltily, gulps down her marinade. The scene is endearing, sad and funny, yet it underscores a fundamental problem with “Ruins.” While Usnavy is nimbly drawn, with genuine depth, he is also an inept bumbler and “an underdeveloped moron,” a political naïf unwitting of larger historical forces. The embargo, for instance, is never mentioned. Instead, everything boils down to a dreary revolutionary faith, which, like the chandelier, is merely a tragic dream, cumbersome and impractical.