“Casi nunca”, la literatura como acto de magia

Casi_nunca_Daniel_SadaEl escritor es algo así como un mago. A partir de ciertos elementos aparentemente comunes es capaz de lograr resultados que parecerían imposibles o antinaturales, resultados que maravillan al espectador. Por eso pagamos por ver un acto de magia, por eso compramos un libro, porque así accedemos a algo, aunque sea como testigos, que por nuestra cuenta no podríamos alcanzar.

La novela es un acto de magia y para forjarlo el escritor emplea diversas técnicas. En un acto de magia el truco debe estar escondido, justamente para que la sorpresa sea efectiva; incluso una de las reglas del gremio ilusionista es que nunca debe revelarse un truco. En la literatura debiera suceder lo mismo, es decir, los trucos del escritor debieran estar escondidos detrás de las palabras, de forma tal que el lector no los note y así sean efectivas las sorpresas que las páginas le deparan.

Sin embargo, Daniel Sada en su novela Casi Nunca, ganadora del Premio Herralde, decide revelar sus trucos, supongo que no todos, pero sí algunos plenamente identificables. Aquí y allá hay frases del tipo “corte a la mañana siguiente”, para terminar una escena y dar pie a una nueva; “veamos la escena, que merece un párrafo aparte”, para alertar al lector que lo siguiente es algo importante; “estamos valorando un salto temporal” o “es oportuno buscar un contrapunto temporal”, cuando pretende hacer un juego de espejos y resonancias; o “conviene aquí imponer una segunda escena con diferente enfoque, pero con similar posicionamiento de Demetrio”, para cambiar la perspectiva de una secuencia.

Pareciera que el autor, para hacer avanzar la trama, va participando al lector de las decisiones técnicas y estructurales que propone al tiempo que escribe la novela, es decir, desvelando sus trucos.

¿Qué tal que, en lugar de decirnos qué es lo que hará a continuación, simplemente lo hiciera? Creo que el efecto del truco sería mucho más plástico y sorpresivo, pues así el lector se vería obligado a darse cuenta, por sí mismo y sin instructivo, de lo que el autor pretende, participando en la construcción de la novela. Los trucos son necesarios para que la historia corra, pero para que corra deben subyacer. Sucede entonces todo lo contrario, el anuncio del clímax en un acto de magia impide que dicha culminación abofetee al espectador, al lector, pues le previene y dispersa su atención de lo verdaderamente importante. Todas las frases arriba referidas estorban, entorpecen el ritmo y distraen de la trama.

Valorando la novela en su conjunto, no podría asegurar que el autor Sada se vale de todo lo anterior por falta de recursos narrativos efectivos y novedosos. Hay frases contundentes, pasajes que generan un horizonte de expectativas tan amplio que resulta intrigante saber por cuál de los caminos abiertos se irán los personajes y en qué sentido evolucionarán. Escenas en que esos mismos personajes toman postura, se definen y logran salir del manto protector que el narrador tiende sobre ellos.

Desafortunadamente son los menos. Por lo general el devenir de la trama se ve interrumpido por esta serie de avisos de tránsito que alertan al lector de las sinuosidades del camino. Más que falta de técnica, me parece que es un exceso de ella: creo que Sada se vale de todos sus recursos para lograr una voz propia, para construir un estilo único y novedoso que rompa, por supuesto, con los convencionalismos narrativos y estilísticos; sin embargo, desde mi punto de vista, se excede y termina abrumando al lector al indicarle la ruta a seguir.

Es válido y necesario buscar un estilo propio y romper los convencionalismos narrativos. Sólo así el escritor será identificable y trascenderá al llevar la literatura un paso más allá de donde la encontró. Empero, el estilo debe siempre estar al servicio de la trama, sin trama no hay nada. El estilo grandilocuente de García Márquez en Cien Años de Soledad está justificado por la historia que se cuenta y por los sucesos que la impulsan, ayuda pues a convertir en verosímil lo absurdo.

En cambio, Casi Nunca cuenta una historia bastante convencional con un estilo demasiado artificioso que en nada le ayuda. Sí, la trama es convencional: un agrónomo que vive en Oaxaca es cliente frecuente de una prostituta, la cual se termina enganchando y que planea la manera de amarrarlo. Pero él logra deshacerse de ella para enfocarse en su objetivo primordial: enamorar a una muchacha “decente” de un pueblo de Coahuila, cercano a aquél en el que vive la madre del agrónomo.

El hilo conductor es el deseo sexual, su desfogue con la prostituta, el aplazamiento de su satisfacción con la mujer “decente”. El telón de fondo son los usos y costumbres, la mochería, la aparente hipocresía, la doble moral, la represión de las pulsiones animalescas, en los pueblos de la provincia durante los años cuarenta.

Llega un momento incluso en que la historia se pone interesante, pues todo apunta a que la prostituta se volverá decente si logra amarrar a Demetrio, pero en contrapunto, la niña bien se convertirá en obscena cuando se casen y tengan el permiso social para ensabanarse. Sin embargo, Sada decide irse por la vía tradicional y hace desaparecer a la prostituta para seguir por el camino. Al final las cosas son como deben de ser.

Para una historia sin mayores riesgos, Sada emplea un estilo arriesgado. Pero me da la impresión de que el estilo se le va de las manos, pues su narrador, aquél que es el portador y portavoz de tal estilo, acaba ensombreciendo a los personajes, no los deja caminar por sí mismos, tentación de muchos narradores (basta ver Santa de Federico Gamboa). Reitero lo ya dicho: cuando los personajes logran escapársele al narrador y respirar por sí mismos, la novela alcanza niveles de interés muy altos. Pero el narrador, que se le ha ido de las manos al autor, no está dispuesto a que los personajes le hagan lo mismo, así que apenas empiezan a correr, los recupera y los oculta, a través de algún artificio del estilo, enseñando alguno de sus trucos como señuelo ante el lector. Y el lector, por estar pendiente del truco, no se entera de que se ejecutó, frente a sus narices, un acto de magia.

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