Rosario Castellanos: La mujer ante la palabra

Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974)

Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974)

ALEJANDRO SALVADOR PONCE AGUILAR  |

Entre otras efemérides, este año se conmemora el 40º aniversario luctuoso de Rosario Castellanos. Se trató desde luego, de una muerte abrupta que tomó a más de uno por sorpresa. Rosario murió en un desafortunado accidente apenas a los 49 años. Y mejor no imaginar lo que todavía quedaba por ofrecernos. Quizá sea mejor repasar y reflexionar sobre la obra que sí nos legó. Entre esas obras está la novela Balún Canán de 1957, narración que Emilio Carballido le instó a escribir y en la cual, la escritora de origen chiapaneco terminó por plasmar su propia niñez en Comitán, Chiapas.

Debido al carácter autobiográfico de la novela, no está de más echar una breve mirada a la vida de Rosario. Rosario nació en la Ciudad de México en 1925, en la época de la posrevolución. Recién nacida sus papás se la llevaron a Comitán. Al igual que la niña protagonista de Balún Canán, Rosario nació en el seno de una familia de terratenientes y tuvo una nana indígena que se llamaba Rufina. Cuando el reparto agrario arruinó a los dueños de las fincas y éstos tuvieron que emigrar a la Ciudad de México, Rufina abandonó la casa de la familia de Rosario. Al igual que la niña de la novela, Rosario también tuvo un hermano: Mario Benjamín, quien murió de apendicitis a los siete años.

Balún Canán, Premio Chiapas 1958, está dividida en tres capítulos, dos de los cuales (el primero y el tercero) están narrados en la primera persona del presente. El segundo capítulo está narrado en la tercera persona del pretérito. La historia se desenvuelve en la época en que las reformas legislativas exacerbaron los conflictos raciales entre terratenientes e indígenas.  Balún Canán proviene del vocablo Balunem K´anal que en maya antiguo significa nueve estrellas.

La voz narrativa en primera persona es la de una niña de siete años. A lo largo del primer capítulo, se observa la percepción de los acontecimientos desde la perspectiva de la chiquilla y la relación con su nana. La pupila es hija de un terrateniente, César Argüello, y Zoraida, mujer de origen humilde. De acuerdo a la percepción de la niña los acontecimientos se van tensando. La pequeña vive uno de esos momentos en que se presiente que la gota que derramará el vaso está por caer. No obstante, gracias a esta voz narrativa, estos capítulos están plasmados de un modo ingenioso que conserva la inocencia propia de su edad.

El crítico y mecenas de las letras mexicanas John S. Burshwood, al que muchos calificaron de “gringo entrometido”,  cuestionó la verosimilitud  de  Balún Canán, específicamente la voz narrativa de la niña. Él afirmó que una niña de siete años no puede expresarse de la manera en que lo hace la chiquilla de Balún Canán. Sin embargo, si Rosario no hubiera adoptado el lenguaje de la niña, la poética de la obra habría quedado mutilada, la narración no hubiera estado cruzada por el imaginario de la niña y la expresión de su mundo no hubiera alcanzado toda su plenitud. Con el recurso de la narración infantil, el lector comprende cómo una niña, hija de terratenientes, vive su niñez en medio de la constante tensión social. Todo ello sin considerar que es precisamente la voz de la chiquilla la que dibuja un mundo inocente junto a la violencia posrevolucionaria.

Balún Canán de Rosario Castellanos, 1957.

Balún Canán de Rosario Castellanos, 1957.

Es por la narración de esta chiquilla que Balún Canán se transformó en una búsqueda interior. A través de esta novela, Rosario redescubrió su pasado, lo reconstruyó fusionando los discursos de una vida y los sembró en la cultura mexicana. En Balún Canán Rosario escribió su pasado y lo ató a un capítulo de la historia nacional: se trata de la mujer ante la historia.

Pero allí no queda agotada la empresa de Rosario. Además del sustrato autobiográfico y de la problemática social, en su novela la escritora mexicana también rescató la cosmovisión indígena y  elaboró todos estos elementos entorno al destino trágico de los personajes femeninos.

Los epígrafes que preceden a cada capítulo son citas de libros prehispánicos: el Chilam Balam de Chumayel y los Anales de los Xahil. Con la aparición del Dzúlum, una especie de monstruo mítico que secuestra mujeres ladinas, el tema de las supersticiones también se hace presente. El Popol Vuh pasa lista en Balún Canán en el relato de la creación de los hombres de madera, de barro, de carne y de oro.

Los hombres de oro están encima de los de carne, la carne le entrega su sangre a los palacios dorados. Así, la antigua división mítica sirve a Rosario como una metáfora de la condición social de principios del siglo XX. ¿En qué se constituyó el triunfo de los patrones ladinos sobre los mayas y tzotziles? La misma fuerza que los llevó a ser poseedores también los despojó. Y es que en Balún Canán la cuestión no se resuelve haciendo un repaso de quiénes eran los poseedores de la tierra, o de cuáles eran las relaciones de producción. La cuestión en cambio se transmuta y se inscribe en el lenguaje. La dominación se plasma en toda la cultura, incluyendo la lengua. Para la sociedad chiapaneca de principios de siglo XX, la fuerza de la palabra tiene un poder mágico grabado por debajo de la apariencia: el lenguaje es la forma de dominación de un pueblo sobre otro.

Al despojar a los indígenas de sus categorías lingüísticas los ladinos asesinaron su cultura y su esplendor. Es el lenguaje y no las armas, es el lenguaje y no la posesión física de bienes lo que constituye el poder.  Por ello, durante el proceso que intenta subvertir esa dominación, la rebelión también implica un sustrato lingüístico. Hay que rebelarse en el lenguaje. La revolución sólo cobra una noción concreta cuando se une a la lengua, cuando por la lengua el vencido descubre que es vencedor y que en la palabra su triunfo se hace perdurable. Por eso Felipe dice: “En Tapachula me dieron a leer el papel que habla. Y entendí lo que dice: que nosotros somos iguales a los blancos”.

Felipe es el único personaje capaz de distinguir el cambio de época gestado por las reformas agrarias de Cárdenas. Un hombre está hecho de la  idea que tenga de dios y la idea de Felipe era nueva y abrumadora. El lugar de dios es ocupado por Cárdenas y su forma novedosa de enunciar la justicia crece entre los históricamente marginados. La constitución es la unión de la palabra y la magia, ambas amarradas, ambas magnas, las dos unidas hacen posible la emancipación del pobre. El lugar de dios es ocupado por la palabra hecha ley.

En el relato de la escritora mexicana la mujer encuentra su lugar al margen. En su novela es continua la aparición de la mujer como la figura discriminada y opacada por el machismo. A veces se presenta como la niña desvalida que termina culpándose de la muerte de su hermano; otras veces es la solterona vencida que tiene contactos con el Dzúlum: una mujer que intenta ser hombre para sobrevivir. La mujer aparece también como la casada defraudada, presa de la locura por la muerte de su hijo. Zoraida es la madre de la descendencia trunca de los terratenientes, señal de la decadencia de una época.

Hay escazas opciones para que la mujer escape a su destino trágico: como antes la lengua vencida, el destino de la mujer está atado a la destrucción. A la mujer le queda abandonarse a la fuga, a la muerte o a la locura. La mujer está muerta en vida, su voz carece de protagonismo. Así como la nana y la niña no tienen nombre porque carecen de valor, la mujer está obligada a vivir en un escenario del que es casi imposible salir victoriosa. A la mujer en Balún Canán le queda entregarse a la muerte, darle la vida al Dzúlum, seguirle el paso misterioso buscando quién sabe qué esperanzas, ¿será la búsqueda de su liberación?

Hay para quienes la escritura se vuelve una tarea ontológica. Una tarea que implica la revalorización de las letras, de las metáforas, una obligación del ser para crear un universo poético nuevo y vigoroso. El arte también es una forma de conocer. Este ir y venir de los conceptos, este estira y afloja de las palabras y el lenguaje, da a las letras un excedente de sentido que expande las fronteras del mundo.

En cierta forma, ese excedente de sentido convierte al arte en una forma de rebelión y de protesta. Éste fue el caso de Rosario Castellanos, su literatura devino búsqueda de sí: persona, pueblo, lenguaje. Rosario reconstruye su niñez en Comitán. Rosario denuncia la condición de la mujer. Rosario protesta contra la humillación del maya y del tzoltzil. Rosario descubre en la lengua la huella de la dominación. Y mientras otros ensayan sobre la gran condición universal de la “mexicanidad”, Rosario encuentra la sombra vacía de sí, la falta de lo “mexicano”, su impotencia para devenir unidad universal en el seno del Estado. En su poema Entrevista de prensa, Rosario expresó: “Escribo porque yo, un día, adolescente, me incliné ante un espejo y no había nadie. ¿Se da cuenta? El vacío. Y junto a mí los otros chorreaban importancia”.   

http://palabravirtual.com/index.php?ir=ver_voz1.php&wid=1933&p=Rosario%20Castellanos&t=Entrevista%20de%20prensa&o=Rosario%20Castellanos 

RMM|ASPA|

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