José Saramago (1922-2010)

jose-saramagoÉrase una vez un ser humano que nació oliendo a tierra campesina en una aldea desheredada y que murió de frente al mar, 87 años después, habiendo aprendido a hablar con el mundo por escrito, y a preguntarle a Dios de tú a tú por su existencia. Encontró respuesta a ambas querellas, pero la segunda, que le ha llegado hoy, llega cuando ya no podía ser compartida con ninguno, ni por escrito ni de forma alguna. José Saramago ha muerto hoy, 18 de junio, en Tías, Lanzarote, su edén disfrazado de exilio, el templo de silencios, ventanas, papel y tazas de café que compartió con Pilar del Río, su traductora  y compañera, hasta hace unas horas.

Saramago murió la muerte que él habría escrito a la mañana siguiente si por primera vez no hubiera sido ella quien dijera punto y queda, y no él. Muerte serena, mínima, callada, cotidiana y absoluta, merecida, con el permiso de alguno a quien el adjetivo le parezca abusar de poco tacto o de ironía, que no la tiene.

No hace muchos años que, haya sido caminando por la playa, al despertar, viendo TV o después de estornudar, tuvo una idea, visión, recuerdo, o como quiera que se llame lo que se tiene justo antes de escribir. Resulta que un día, el mundo era tan mundo como el nuestro y al día siguiente no moría nadie. Ni el día después, ni el que le sigue, ni esa semana, ni la otra. Hoy parece que Don José escribía aquello para enseñarse a sí mismo a morir y a despedirse con el tiempo suficiente, para que a nadie sorprendieran las prisas.

Mis padres se llamaban José de Sousa y Maria da Piedade. José de Sousa habría sido mi nombre si el funcionario del Registro Civil, por iniciativa propia, no le hubiese añadido el apodo por el que mi padre era conocido en la aldea: Saramago, decía no hace mucho por boca propia este otro hijo de María y José, campesinos de la provincia portuguesa. Tal vez, después de todo, hayan sido esos nombres de familia los que le acreditaran la licencia para escribir, a título propio, un Evangelio Según Jesucristo (1991) que terminara de dar formas y verdades a los que ya estaban escritos.

Afortunada condición, a la larga, resultó la humildad descalza de su infancia y juventud, que orillan a sus padres a interrumpir sus estudios secundarios empujándolo a la biblioteca pública del poblado, a leer y releer a los clásicos, a los contemporáneos y hasta a algunos insignificantes, a memorizar pasajes completos y a escribir su primera novela, de dramático y primerizo nombre Tierra de pecado, en 1947, después de la cual habita un receso de más de veinte años de silencio.

Sólo es que no tenía algo que decir y cuando no se tiene algo que decir lo mejor es callar, solía decir con una naturalidad tal que pareciera que abandonar la escritura fuera tan sencillo y automático como cambiar la sábana a un colchón.

Biografías y recuentos aparte, sirva esta mañana para transformar las despedidas en saludos o en reencuentros, en un regreso a pie de caminante a la Lisboa eternamente imaginada, a los poblados del interior portugués, maravillosos de tan insignificantes, al Memorial del convento de construcción eterna donde algunas veces rondan Blimunda Sietelunas y Baltasar Sietesoles, a la anónima urbe de ciegos repentinos, tumba yerma de la civilización, o a La Caverna tan temida por Cipriano Algor, el alfarero de hombrecitos de arcilla.

Regresar a Saramago hoy evade la corrección política y funeraria del homenaje postmortem, que tan oportunista puede llegar a ser. Regresar a su llanura húmeda, a la vez gris y soleada, de verdades llenas de comas, musical, de párrafos inusitadamente largos y voces polifónicas, es urgente para el mundo del que Don José hoy se ha despedido, habiendo dicho lo que tenía por decir, que es suficiente y necesario para aprender que cuando se dice humanidad se habla también de uno mismo y no de los otros nada más.

Desde aquellas primeras novelas, del Manual de pintura y caligrafía (1977) hasta la reciente recta final de su obra, que alumbra al menos dos obras maestras  (Las intermitencias de la muerte, 2005, El viaje del elefante, 2008), Saramago goza desde hoy de uno de los privilegios del creador que muere: La revelación súbita de su obra como una totalidad íntegra que termina siendo una explicación estética y moral del mundo, paisaje amplísimo, tan inmenso, tenso, a la vez inaudito y familiar, una obra rabiosa y sabiamente personal, de una madurez tan infrecuente a nuestros tiempos que vuelve difícil creer no que Don José haya muerto esta mañana, sino que siquiera haya vivido los mismos días que recordamos como propios.

Mil Mesetas, que no quiere despedirse, antes saluda con sonrisas y brazos abiertos a José Saramago, que hoy volteó a ver el mar y perdió la mirada. Si la literatura pudiera cambiar al mundo, ya lo habría hecho, pensó.

RL/CC

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