Pornodinero

PABLO RAMÍREZ |

El dinero es, sin duda, un buen tema literario. No el dinero en sí mismo, sino los conflictos que pueden surgir por su culpa. No nos hagamos, a todos nos importa, todos lo necesitamos para subsistir y todos quisiéramos tener más del que poseemos ahora; hay quienes están dispuestos a hacer lo que sea para ganar más, y cada vez más rápido. Existen pocas motivaciones tan poderosas para actuar, incluso de la manera más ruin y egoísta, que la plata.

En la cuarta de forros se describe a Historia del dinero (Anagrama, 2013), de Alan Pauls, como una novela de dinero explícito, así como en la pornografía se habla de sexo explícito. La analogía es acertada, pero no por las razones que, supongo, los editores tenían en mente: en una película pornográfica la historia es lo de menos, el carácter y antecedente de los personajes da igual; de lo que se trata es de que forniquen la mayor cantidad de veces, con la más amplia gama de variedades y lo más ruidosamente posible. Lo mismo sucede aquí, pues el peso de la novela está en mostrar explícitamente el ir y venir del dinero de unas manos a otras, que lo veamos en fajos atados por ligas, traducido en fichas de casino, incluso que vislumbremos monedas de oro cayendo del cielo y manos empuñando bolígrafos que eyaculan tinta, al llenar y firmar cheques.

La trama quiere ser muy ambiciosa, pero hay algo que no funciona. Pretende contar muchas cosas que sucedieron en un tiempo muy prolongado, pero profundiza poco, si es que lo hace, en los personajes que encarnan los hechos narrados. De entrada, ninguno de los principales tiene nombre, primer elemento de tedio. Todo empieza en el funeral de un amigo del padrastro del protagonista, cuyo helicóptero se desplomó en el río Tigre cuando transportaba un maletín con dinero, destinado a aplacar un levantamiento sindical de la siderúrgica en la que trabajaba, en una época particularmente explosiva para estos fines, como fueron los de la década de los setenta en plena dictadura.

Este hecho dispara una serie de recuerdos del protagonista: los veranos de su infancia en la casa de su padrastro y su madre en Mar del Plata; la presencia del difunto en los almuerzos de esos días; pero sobre todo, la espera, la creciente expectativa y, finalmente, la llegada de su padre para llevárselo a otro balneario a pasar el resto del verano. El padre es el único personaje vívido, al único que en realidad vemos, su manera de barajar el dinero, mental y manualmente, su trato con sus proveedores y clientes, su afición al juego, fuente principal de su riqueza. Los pasajes que lo involucran son los únicos verdaderamente conmovedores.

Y aquí teníamos un cuadro que prefiguraba un conflicto muy interesante: un padre ludópata capaz de dejar a su hijo solo en un cuarto de hotel en Río de Janeiro para ir a cobrar una deuda, una madre vuelta a casar con un millonario, el divorcio provocado por la adicción al juego; como telón de fondo, un muerto en circunstancias sospechosas mientras transportaba un maletín lleno de plata, pues nadie sabe a quién estaba destinado el portafolios. Ahí estaban los elementos para tejer, con el dinero como hilo conductor, una historia llena de intrigas, motivaciones económicas y políticas, vueltas de tuerca y exploración íntima de los personajes.

Pero el narrador prefirió ubicarse por encima de los personajes, a efecto de darnos una panorámica de la situación económica y, en menor medida, política de la Argentina de la época. Para ello adoptó una voz neutra, en tercera persona y tiempo presente, cuidadosa de registrar los detalles ambientales de las escenas, aunque poco trascendentes para el avance de la acción; para recorrer (que no narrar) en doscientas páginas a párrafo seguido, sin capítulos ni diálogos (un segundo elemento de tedio que el lector tiene que resistir para llegar al final), desde que el protagonista conoce al difunto a los siete años de edad, hasta la muerte de su padre y la ruina definitiva de su madre, más de treinta años después.

En ese recorrido nos habla de la pulverización del poder adquisitivo por la inflación, la crisis de secuestros de empresarios (y una sesuda reflexión sobre el valor de una vida humana), la escasez de insumos y materias primas; pero son elementos que ocupan muchas páginas y, bien visto, poco influyen en los protagonistas y en el desarrollo de la trama. Hay demasiada distancia entre la situación económica general y las historias personales. Hay demasiada distancia entre el narrador y los personajes, muchos de los cuales, quitando a los tres principales, son meras sombras de las que sólo vemos lo que el narrador tiene a bien contarnos. No hablan, no provocan, únicamente son estaciones de paso para el flujo del dinero que es, en realidad, lo único que se mueve y avanza en la novela.

Del propio protagonista sabemos poco: por ejemplo, por qué nunca tiene trabajo; por qué es tan poco afectuosa su relación con su madre; por qué si su padre fue una especie de héroe, a su muerte queda reducido a una serie de cuentas por pagar y deudas por cobrar; de su militancia comunista apenas nos enteramos. En la narrativa son importantes los hechos, pero más importantes las razones que los provocan y en Historia del dinero están ausentes.

Esta ausencia hace que la novela carezca de cohesión entre sus elementos. El dinero es su común denominador, pero no los une; no es el engrane que mueva y motive a los personajes; no es el incentivo que determine sus decisiones, las cuales pueden perjudicar, incluso, a sus personas cercanas y queridas. El dinero es sólo algo externo a lo cual los personajes se adaptan según las circunstancias, no una flecha que los cruce y los vincule con los otros, los afecte, les genere posiciones de interés y los obligue a tomar partido. Por ello, la orgía monetaria que inunda el texto se vuelve aburrida, predecible y carente de sustancia alguna que conmueva al lector.

| RMM | PR |

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