sábado, 4 de junio de 2011

Los adioses

Los adioses (Punto de Lectura, 2007)
por Juan Carlos Onetti
Argentina, 1954

Una novela breve magistral (escrita en los años bonaerenses del uruguayo Onetti), sin ninguna grasa estructuralmente, en cuyas 111 páginas se encuentran un relato devastador y una profunda meditación sobre la inexorabilidad del tiempo y del destino.  Ambientada en un pueblo de montaña adonde los tuberculosos van para curarse, Los adioses nos ofrece una visión de otras enfermedades--la soledad, la ausencia del amor, la voluntad para decepcionarse, la derrota--a lo largo de su esbozo de un ex jugador de basketball, ahora un enfermo, marcado por un fatalismo desafiante.  "No es que crea imposible curarse", dice el narrador, "sino que no cree en el valor, en la trascendencia de curarse" (12).  Al mismo tiempo que todo esto está pasando, el novelista inicia un sutilísimo juego del gato y del ratón con el lector cuando un malentendido acerca de las relaciones entre el enfermo y las dos mujeres en su vida parece reflejar simbólicamente la venalidad de la verdad entre todos los testigos del espectáculo (sólo un recordatorio: nosotros los lectores somos testigos también).  En resumen, una especie de tragedia rioplatense hermosamente narrada sin ningún sentimentalismo barato. (www.puntodelectura.com)

Juan Carlos Onetti

7 comentarios:

  1. OMG, I just finished a book so like that today (only it was 4 or 5 times the length) and if I had known how depressing it would be I wouldn't have done it even though it too was magisterial in many ways. OMG, the loneliness, absence of love, disappointments, defeat - you wouldn't believe how much ice cream I had to down today trying to overcome it all! I just can't take real life like that. Afterwards I immediately started on the new Sookie Stackhouse book (as in True Blood). La realidad apesta! (if I were in Spain I could give you the upside down mark as well!)

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  2. *Jill: Ha, you're about the last person I expected to see turn up for an Onetti post--he's so not you! Been thinking about your critiques of my "depressing" reading choices of late, though, and have come to the conclusion that "depressing" + extremely well written and/or "depressing" + narrative surprises to delight the reader will always make me happier than "happy" + averagely well written or "happy" + straightforward narrative style with no surprises. Make sense? Ice cream is a wonder food--we agree on that one. Cheers! P.S. An Alt-0161 keystroke combo will give you a nice upside down exclamation mark (¡) should you ever need one!

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  3. Sounds like Onetti at his chirpy, optimistic best! An interesting addition to the mountain sanatorium genre.

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  4. Hi Richard,
    I was watching your blog for the month read of Snow by Orhan Pamuk for June... are you joining in? or am I looking at the wrong blog?

    Thanks if you can let me know. :)

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  5. *Obooki: Yes, more of that "chirpy" Onetti optimism, ha ha! For this reader at least, though, the novella felt less suffocating than The Shipyard somehow even though what happens to the protagonists in the two works is probably equally unpleasant for them (or would be if they were human). Hadn't thought of this as a representative of the "mountain sanatorium genre," but of course it is--thanks for pointing that out!

    *JoV: We have Snow lined up for the last weekend in July, so I hope that doesn't affect your plans too much (if it does, just review it this month and I'll link to you next month when everybody else gets around to posting on it). We're reading Junot Diaz in June. Cheers!

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  6. I read Juan Carlos Onetti years ago and found him very melancholic but also limpid.

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  7. *Caroline: Not the most cheerful fellow, you're right, but what a consistently provocative writer. Interestingly enough, I almost used "limpid" in my post but shied away from it at the last minute for some reason!

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