Roberto Bolaño, confesiones a mano

CAMILA PINZÓN MENDOZA |

Barcelona, España.- Bolaño era un romántico de la comunicación. Aun cuando ya existían teléfonos móviles y correos electrónicos prefería escribir a sus amigos largas cartas con su pulso y lágrimas. Se explayaba con propiedad y pasión en monólogos sobre poetas ingleses y franceses (Eliot y Baudelaire), y sobre narradores norteamericanos: Poe, Hemingway, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut o John Irving, aunque este último nunca llegó a gustarle. Otras veces les contaba sobre las dificultades y el amargo silencio al que se enfrenta un escritor, saltando al vacío con el propósito incierto de escribir algo que remueva vísceras.

A Herralde también solía escribirle cartas. Durante el proceso de escritura de un libro o justo antes de terminarlo, al buzón del editor llegaban mensajes desde Cataluña. En ellas le confesó el origen de sus pesadillas, su carrera contra el tiempo, la neblina gris de la adversidad y las crestas de futuras obras.

A finales de 1996 desde San Sebastián llegó al buzón de su casa en Blanes la noticia de que había ganado un premio con el cuento “Sensini”, un estupendo relato pensado para Antonio Di Benedetto —también aquí aparecen las sombras de Onetti, Moyano y muchos otros— en el que un sagaz escritor con experiencia en los concursos literarios de provincia aconseja a otro más joven —tal vez un Arturo Belano— cómo participar y conseguir llevarse el premio gordo. Fueron 700 mil pesetas que a Bolaño y Carolina les cayeron del cielo en tiempos en que vivían únicamente del sueldo municipal de ella. Pero había un problema. El cuento con el que ganó estaba en el primer bloque de Llamadas telefónica, el libro que Herralde esperaba tener en su escritorio en los próximos días. Bolaño tomó papel y lápiz: “La gente de San Sebastián, de momento, me exige el copyright al menos hasta que ellos lo publiquen, que será en enero del 98. Yo creo que podré llegar a un acuerdo, pero si así no fuera te propongo que nos olvidemos de “Sensini” y en su lugar yo te daré dos cuentos nuevos, tan buenos como aquél, o mejores. A esta altura de la carta tú seguro que te estarás preguntando por qué coño no participo con cuentos que no tenga comprometidos. Buena pregunta. Hay dos respuestas. Primera: no sé si recuerdas que uno de los argumentos de “Sensini” era el de los concursos literarios. La tentación de enviar el cuento a un concurso literario de verdad y de ganármelo, tal como pasa en el cuento, era excesiva. Segunda: no creí que me lo ganaría. En fin, como dicen los franceses cuando están subiendo una escalera: pardon, pardon, merci, merci, pardon, pardon, pardon, merci, merci, pardon. ¡Una escalera oscura como la jodida caverna de Platón!”. Finalmente en noviembre de 1997 se publicó el cuento como abrebocas del libro Llamadas telefónicas.

Ese mismo año envió el manuscrito de Literatura Nazi en América a todas las editoriales que se le ocurrieron. Atrás habían quedado los tiempos de Marx y Rimbaud, ahora corrían los de la prisa y la austeridad. Seix Barral fue la primera en morder el anzuelo y Bolaño aceptó. Herralde comprendió la necesidad del escritor, aunque supongo se autorecriminó el haber perdido la que hubiera sido la primera publicación en Anagrama del escritor que años más tarde se convertiría en la fiera de la metaliteratura.

Pocos días después, una mañana, en su despacho, Herralde preguntó a Bolaño si tenía alguna novela inédita, algo recién escrito que pudiera publicarle. Bolaño dijo que sí y en tres semanas escribió Estrella distante, en la que para ganar tiempo y satisfacer los deseos de Belano, tomó prestado algunos fragmentos de Literatura Nazi en América. En la primera escribió una biografía imaginaria sobre el infame Carlos Ramírez Hoffman, pero “Belano soñaba una historia más larga, de manera que nos encerramos durante un mes en mi casa de Blanes y con el último capítulo en mano y al dictado de sus sueños y pesadillas compusimos la novela; Ramírez Hoffman se convierte en el poeta Alberto Ruiz-Tagle, que también es el aviador Carlos Wieder, que escribía versículos de la Biblia en un avión de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Mi función se redujo a preparar bebidas, consultar algunos libros, y discutir, con él y con el fantasma cada día más vivo de Pierre Menard, la validez de muchos párrafos repetidos”.

Tras enviar el manuscrito Bolaño tuvo horribles pesadillas de autoplagio. Posiblemente en medio de una noche de insomnio escribió esta carta: “Querido Jorge: un amigo que había leído la Literatura Nazi leyó Estrella Distante y me hizo notar la serie de párrafos repetidos entre el último capítulo de aquella y varios, si no todos los capítulos de ésta. Por supuesto, yo ya lo sabía, pero consideraba (y sigo considerando) que una cosa es una historia de 20 páginas en donde se esboza una carnicería (moral) y otra muy distinta una novela de 104 páginas en donde lo que pretendí fue contar una historia generacional, es decir, no los crímenes de Wieder, sino aquel apocalipsis de la poética y del sentido del ridículo (pero también de la generosidad) que fueron las décadas del 70 y 80 en América. ¿Por qué utilicé los mismos párrafos? La razón es tan sencilla que parece idiota, porque si ya estaban bien así, y se trataba de la misma historia, por qué cambiarlos. En fin, la conversación con este amigo supongo que me pilló en uno de los momentos de bajada de mi bipolaridad, por lo que tras pasar un par de noches dándole vueltas al asunto a la tercera me puse manos a la obra… el resultado fue que algunos párrafos cambiaron, pero sobre todo que la novela creció. Es necesario que hable contigo, aunque sólo sea para jurar de rodillas y con los brazos en cruz (en el derecho el Diccionario de la Real Academia, en el izquierdo el Código Penal) que nada más lejos de mi intención que hacerte pasar gato por liebre o capítulo por novela. Por descontado, si a la vista de estos datos no te convence la historia rompemos el contrato y ya no hay problema. En fin, para mi lo más importante de este asunto es mantener los causes abiertos y limpios, como decían los castores de una película de los sesenta… Me consuelo pensando que más difícil lo tenía Arquíloco que tuvo que cruzar un campo de huesos”. En octubre de 1996 Anagrama publicó en la colección Narrativas Hispánicas Estrella Distante.

Dos años más tarde llegó una nueva carta al buzón de Herralde. Bolaño se encontraba escribiendo su gran novela: Los detectives salvajes. Llevaba meses de encierro, pero aun así iba perdiendo la carrera a muerte contra el tiempo.

“Creo que no podré llegar con mi novela a la fecha magnética del 15 de julio. Estoy en ello, pero el texto resiste como el conejo de Duracel y por cada página que destruyo salen dos. Por ejemplo, en la segunda parte, que es la más gruesa, hay cincuenta personajes que hablan en primera persona y mas de trescientos personajes que también hablan y hablan y les suceden cosas y se enamoran y se enamoran. Quería que no tuviera más de 500 páginas y ahora sé que no tendrá menos de 600. Y, por supuesto, tiro muchas páginas, borro mucho, destruyo mucho, pero sigue creciendo. La mortalidad es elevada. Casi todo el mundo se enferma. Tienen accidentes automovilísticos. Los matan los balazos. Se suicidan. Pero ni por esas… estoy cansado de tanto escribir. Añoro los cuentos y las novelas de 120 páginas. El novelón me tiene cogido del cuello y lo único que puedo hacer es tener paciencia. Y repetirme, eso sí, que nunca más haré nada tan extenso. Por supuesto eso no evita las pesadillas”.

A finales de 1998 Anagrama publicó alegremente Los detectives salvajes, un artefacto concebido a coro con las voces de Faulkner, Marcel Schwob y el olvidado escritor polaco Jerzy Andrzejewski, que cuenta en primera persona las mutaciones de una generación: la locura, la ruina, la muerte y la gran estafa que es toda juventud.

Estas cartas hacen parte del archivo personal de Bolaño quien antes de morir lo guardó casi todo en cajas. El archivo permanecerá expuesto en el Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona hasta el próximo mes julio.

| RMM | CPM |

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