Sunday, July 18, 2010

El paciente inglés


Siempre tuve una extraña atracción por esta película de Anthony Minghella. Hoy estoy segura de que se debe a los momentos y a las edades en las que se ve cierto tipo de material. Pero no es de la película que quiero comentar sino del libro, que me parece que está muy desvalorizado. Se escucha siempre eso de que mejor es la película, al menos en este caso, y creo que es una terrible apreciación, sobre todo, si se ha tenido la oportunidad de releer la novela de Ondaatje.

Primero, Michael Ondaatje (Sri Lanka) es un poeta. Esto creo que es crucial cuando intentamos adentrarnos en la narrativa de El paciente inglés. Segundo, la novela da la clave de lectura en la voz del paciente cuando le explica a Hanna que, en otras palabras, cada lectura tiene un ritmo y un tono específico. Hanna, durante su estadía en la villa Girolamo, intenta leer Kim de Rudyard Kipling. Este autor que nació en Bombay, también está considerado inglés y la obra a la que se alude es una novela de espionaje publicada en 1901. Al igual que Ondatjee,Kimpling, fue poeta. ¿Coincidencias? Lo dudo.
Hanna le lee Kim para el paciente. No es una casualidad que Kim sea un joven inglés y que nadie repare en que no es indio y que además se convierta en espía o al menos se junte con e llos. En un determinado momento consigue mapas de los rusos que muestran el trabajo de los rusos en parte del territorio dominado por los británicos y se los entrega a su maestro.
Algo similar ocurre en la versión del paciente. Lo acusan de espía y él revela que se hizo pasar por uno para salvar a la mujer que había dejado en la cueva de los nadadores.
Durante la novela, varios son los personajes que están atados por la lectura. Hanna le lee al paciente, el paciente lee a Herodoto y también lee su diario. En su diario también ha escrito Katharine.
"Léelo despacio, querida niña; a Kipling hay que leerlo despacio. Fíjate bien en dónde se encuentran las comas y descubrirás las pausas naturales. Era un autor que escribía con pluma y tintero. Como la mayoría de escritores que viven solos, levantaba con frecuencia, según tengo entendido, la vista de la página, miraba por la ventana y escuchaba los pájaros. Algunos no saben los nombres de los pájaros, pero el sí. Tus ojos son demasiado rápidos, norteamericanos. Piensa en el rítmo de su pluma. De lo contrario, parecerá un primer párrafo ampuloso y anticuado".
Tres. El paciente inglés es una novela que hay que masticar mucho, y luego, mucho después, digerir. Las alusiones culturales al mundo del desierto son extensas y precisas. No conozco otra novela que hable del mundo del desierto, de la gente que lo habita. Todo esto a través de su geografía. No es casual que los amigos de Almasy sean cartógrafos, exploradores de la Real Sociedad de Londres.
Cuatro. La guerra como telón de fondo de esta novela permite comprender cómo 4 desconocidos llegan a vivir en comunidad en una casa en ruinas, y luego , cuando sus indentidades se han cohesionado, aparentemente, se separen para ahora sí vivir sus vidas.
La vida no tiene un sentido aparente durante la guerra: hay relaciones momentáneas, esporádicas, instantes. ¿Pra qué avanzar?
Hanna se queda en la villa San Girolamo porque no tiene sentido volver atrás o irse a otro lugar. Aunque la guerra está terminando hay una sensación de vacío que no permite a los pesonajes desplazarse físicamente. El desplazamiento se da en el interior. Van mutando, transformándose. Posiblemente las palabras los transformen.
"Julio de 1936.
En la guerra hay traiciones que, comparadas con nuestras traiciones humanas en época de paz, resultan infantiles. El nuevo amor irrumpe en los hábitos del otro. Todo queda destruido y se ve desde una nueva perspectiva. Para ello se recurre a frases nerviosas o tiernas, aunque el corazón es un órgano de fuego.
Una historia de amor no versa sobre aquellos cuyos corazones se extravían, sino sobre quienes tropiezan con ese hosco personaje interior y comprenden que el cuerpo no puede engañar a nadie ni nada: ni la sabiduría del sueño ni el hábito de la cortesía. Es un consumirse de uno mismo y del pasado".

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