La Casa de las Bellas Durmientes

geishasPor Pablo Ramírez

¿Qué placer puede encontrar un hombre, en pasar la noche junto a una adolescente, casi niña, presumiblemente virgen, desnuda y que está profundamente dormida, supuestamente narcotizada y que no despertará en toda la noche? ¿Qué placer puede encontrar, para incluso pagar por ello? Peor aún, ¿qué placer puede encontrar un lector en una novela en que un hombre ya mayor, recurre a un prostíbulo para pasar la noche con una chica narcotizada? Podría parecer una obra de denuncia al machismo y al rebajamiento de la mujer a un mero objeto de placer perverso.

Pero La Casa de las Bellas Durmientes (ed.Caralt, 2005), de Yasunari Kawabata es un relato sobre los efectos físicos y psicológicos de la vejez, sobre la nostalgia del pasado y sobre un tenso equilibrio entre la añoranza del pasado y la aceptación del presente, pero sobre todo del futuro, a pesar de que la negación de ese presente y ese futuro, siempre busca romper el equilibrio.

Al viejo Euguchi un día le refirieron esta especie de burdel, al que acuden hombres ya mayores con la única finalidad de pasar una noche junto a una mujer joven, de características, espesuras, anchuras y densidades físicas de las que ya no gozan las mujeres con las que duermen o podrían dormir. Aunque Euguchi no se siente todavía acabado como hombre, en un primer momento la idea lo seduce y luego lo envicia, hasta convertirse en un cliente asiduo.

Pero hasta en esta aparente humillación de las chicas narcotizadas hay honorabilidad y normas por acatar. Los clientes pueden tocarlas y manipularlas para dormir lo más cómodamente posible, pero está prohibido hacer cualquier cosa “de mal gusto”, así como violar “la norma de la casa”, como se lo advierte la matrona desde su primera visita.

Es un tema, una situación, que pudiera incomodar al lector, que pudiera activar esa extraña culpa que genera el morbo; pero no lo es. Porque la novela es un prodigio de la forma, la técnica y la construcción narrativa. Todo sucede en un cuarto con cortinas de terciopelo carmesí, una mujer desnuda y dormida sobre la cama, si es invierno tapada con una cobija eléctrica, y un viejo que la contempla, que añora su pasado y que toma un sedante, proporcionado por la propia casa, para dormir.

Parecería un escenario que difícilmente se presta para concatenar una serie de hechos que generen ese interés indispensable para seguir leyendo, pero de alguna manera el autor lo logra. No es una lectura vertiginosa en que una cosa suceda a la otra, pues las acciones que se narran son pocas, son repetidas y su función es dar pie a la parte sustancial. Y esta parte sustancial es descriptiva casi por entero, tanto del entorno, de la habitación, de los sonidos que llegan de afuera, pero sobre todo de las chicas, su físico, su postura, sus movimientos al dormir.

Pero esa descripción no es estática, sino que el narrador nos va presentando los detalles de forma tal, que el relato avanza, como si sintiéramos la propia mirada recorriendo el cuerpo de la chica, la viéramos cómo se mueve y escucháramos lo que balbucea mientras duerme. La descripción no corta el ritmo, más bien lo imprime, pausado, pero profundo y entrañable.

Sin embargo, el autor sabe que un relato meramente descriptivo, por más dinamismo que se le ponga, acaba cansando, por lo que recurre a la nostalgia, al recuerdo de hechos pasados, pero que ni siquiera son de los trascendentes en el camino del viejo Euguchi, sino algunos que hacía mucho tiempo no recordaba, pero que en su momento fueron importantes.

Ese tránsito del presente, de lo que le provoca la contemplación pasiva de una mujer a la que no puede poseer, al análisis retrospectivo a que lo lleva dicha contemplación, es lo que le da hondura al relato. Sin embargo, lo sobresaliente de la novela, la maestría del autor, radica en su capacidad para abrir toda una gama sensorial y emocional, de una intensidad pasmosa, con dos o tres palabras fundamentales.

Son pocos trazos, pero los justos y exactos para mostrar en toda su amplitud y fuerza, cómo se le mueven las tripas a Euguchi, con lo que el lector no tiene más remedio que empatizar. Ello es un sello de Kawabata, pues en Lo Bello y lo Triste, con las pocas palabras que utiliza, logra que al lector se le haga un hueco entre pecho y estómago por el drama que atraviesan los personajes.

Éstas son bellas durmientes que no despiertan con un beso del príncipe azul. Más bien, es el pretendido príncipe al que, sin quererlo, se le despiertan zonas escondidas de su memoria, gracias a un silencioso beso que le da la paz con que duerme la bella en turno. Un silencioso beso a través del cual busca abrevar un poco de la juventud que a la bella le sobra y que al príncipe se le ha escapado.

Es uno de esos libros que, por el número de páginas (tan sólo 155), uno piensa que leerá en una o dos sentadas, pero conforme se avanza, se van abriendo abanicos que obligan a detenerse, pensar un poco, quizás recapitular alguna frase, cerrar el abanico y seguir adelante para abrir el siguiente.

AM/RL

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