Fallece J. D. Salinger (1919-2010)

salingerPresa del mito que construyó en torno a sí y a su obra, Jerome David Salinger falleció el pasado miércoles 27 de enero (de acuerdo al comunicado emitido por su agente literaria hasta este jueves 28) por causas naturales a los 91 años de edad y “sin sufrir ningún dolor”, en su casa de New Hampshire, donde practicó el oficio de anacoreta durante casi cinco décadas, después de la aparición de la obra considerada por muchos como la cumbre de su trayectoria literaria.

Proveniente de una familia judía acomodada de Nueva York, J. D. Sallinger comenzó a escribir desde su adolescencia, cuando ingresó a una academia militar, punto final de una lista de escuelas de las que había sido expulsado por ser considerado un adolescente problemático, al igual que Holden Caufield, el protagonista de El guardián en el centeno.

Su actividad como escritor continuaría aun durante su paso por el ejército,  lo cual lo llevaría a desplazarse hasta Europa, lugar al que fue destinado, con una máquina de escribir con la cual elaboró los mecanuscritos de los cuentos que enviaría a publicaciones como Story, The New Yorker y Saturday Evening Post, durante la década de los cuarentas. Gracias a relatos como “Un día perfecto para el pez plátano”, Sallinger trazó la historia de los hermanos Glass, personajes recurrentes de las historias contenidas en Nueve cuentos (Nine Stories, 1953), Franny y Zooey (Franny and Zooey, 1961), Levantad, carpinteros, la viga del tejado y Seymour: Una introducción (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, 1963), y el cuento breve “Hapworth 16, 1924” (1965).
Sin embargo, fue su novela El guardián en el centeno (The Catcher in the Rye, 1951) la que lo situó en el centro de la atención tanto de lectores como de críticos, quienes vieron en el relato de las peripecias de Holden Caufield por Nueva York, el relato de un choque entre el mundo de la infancia y el mundo estático e hipócrita de los adultos; en otras palabras, una crítica a la sociedad estadunidense de la posguerra, así como a los valores que ésta enaltecía.

El éxito inesperado y desmedido de esta obra motivó a Salinger a recluirse, negándose a aparecer en público o a conceder entrevistas, con lo que se vio envuelto en la especulación y fue elevado a la categoría de mito literario en vida. Pero de igual forma, su obra también se vio sujeta a la polémica y el escándalo, debido a interpretaciones demasiado radicales, como la de Mark David Chapman, quien vinculó de forma desafortunada la novela de Salinger con el asesinato de John Lennon, o bien, la tentativa del sueco Fredrik Colting quien pretendió publicar una secuela donde el personaje de Holden Caufield retoma la palabra 60 años después. La tentativa de Colting fue frustrada tras la demanda interpuesta por Salinger en 2009.

Salinger conocía las diversas y extraordinarias manifestaciones de la filosofía oriental; fue influido, por mencionar un poco, por el budismo zen y por el hinduismo Advaita Vedanta. Asimismo tenía la firme creencia de que los sentimientos como la distancia, el anonimato, la obscuridad ante esos reflectores que lo cegaban con su luz superficial, sentimientos, todos, de un escritor como él, constituían la segunda propiedad más valiosa —por debajo del mismo acto de escribir— que le fue concedida.

Ahora que él no está para proteger celosamente sus escritos, probablemente tendremos la oportunidad de ver publicado más material que nunca salió a la luz  y que permanecía durmiendo en sus cajones más secretos y por lo mismo amados. En todo caso siempre es disfrutable y enriquecedor leer a J.D Salinger. ¿Porqué no recordarlo y homenajearlo, ahora, leyendo con justicia su obra?

(Con información de Yazmín Bandala y Armando Fonseca)

RL/CC

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