La visibilidad de Invisible
Invisible, la última novela de Paul Auster, se deja ver cada vez más nítidamente en castellano. Anagrama ya anunció que el 1 de diciembre estará en librerías. No, amigos limeños, ni sueñen que estará en la Feria del Libro Ricardo Palma. A no ser que Océano rente un avión solo para traerla. Como sea, el anuncio del nuevo libro de Auster viene acompañado de elogios (lo que no es usual últimamente) y también palos. Clancy Martin, en The New York Times, dice que es la mejor novela que Auster ha escrito hasta ahora:
As soon as you finish Paul Auster’s “Invisible” you want to read it again. And not because, as sometimes with his novels — as with the novels of Georges Perec, one of a handful of other real authors mentioned in the book — you suddenly suspect, at the very end, that you haven’t properly understood a word of what has gone before. You want to reread “Invisible” because it moves quickly, easily, somehow sinuously, and you worry that there were good parts that you read right past, insights that you missed. The prose is contemporary American writing at its best: crisp, elegant, brisk. It has the illusion of effortlessness that comes only with fierce discipline. As often happens when you are in the hands of a master, you read the next sentence almost before you are finished with the previous one. The novel could be read shallowly, because it is such a pleasure to read. [...] For years now there have been two Austers waiting to embrace: the psychologist/storyteller of novels like “Leviathan,” and the metatextual trickster of “The New York Trilogy.” Freud once claimed that our greatest frustration was that we could never kiss ourselves — well, Auster has knotted the pretzel, he has brought his two loves together (it is, after all, a novel about incest). So if, like me, part of why you read is the great pleasure of falling in love with a novel, then read “Invisible.” It is the finest novel Paul Auster has ever written.
Mientras tanto, el renegón James Wood aprovecha la novedad para extenderse en la narrativa de Paul Auster en la última edición de The New Yorker. Wood, a diferencia de Clancy Martin, se muestra reticente a aceptar que está ante una buena novela. Acepta algunos halagos pero, en síntesis, podríamos aceptar que concluye que Invisible, como otras novelas de Auster, es solo más postmodernidad para espíritus ligeros. Dice:
What Auster often gets instead is the worst of both worlds: fake realism and shallow skepticism. The two weaknesses are related. Auster is a compelling storyteller, but his stories are assertions rather than persuasions. They declare themselves; they hound the next revelation. Because nothing is persuasively assembled, the inevitable postmodern disassembly leaves one largely untouched. (The disassembly is also grindingly explicit, spelled out in billboard-size type.) Presence fails to turn into significant absence, because presence was not present enough. This is the crevasse that divides Auster from novelists like José Saramago, or the Philip Roth of “The Ghost Writer.” Saramago’s realism is braced with skepticism, so his skepticism feels real. Roth’s narrative games emerge naturally from his consideration of ordinary human ironies and comedies; they do not start life as allegories about the relativity of mimesis, though they may become them. Saramago and Roth both assemble and disassemble their stories in ways that seem fundamentally grave. Auster, despite all the games, is the least ironic of contemporary writers. [...] The classic formulations of postmodernism, by philosophers and theorists like Maurice Blanchot and Ihab Hassan, emphasize the way that contemporary language abuts silence. For Blanchot, as indeed for Beckett, language is always announcing its invalidity. Texts stutter and fragment, shred themselves around a void. Perhaps the strangest element of Auster’s reputation as an American postmodernist is that his language never registers this kind of absence at the level of the sentence. The void is all too speakable in Auster’s work. The pleasing, slightly facile books come out almost every year, as tidy and punctual as postage stamps, and the applauding reviewers line up like eager stamp collectors to get the latest issue. Peter Aaron, the narrator of “Leviathan,” whose prose is so pressureless, claims that “I have always been a plodder, a person who anguishes and struggles over each sentence, and even on my best days I do no more than inch along, crawling on my belly like a man lost in the desert. The smallest word is surrounded by acres of silence for me.” Not enough silence, alas.