CULTURA

Reseña: “El fantasmacopio” de Carlos Enrique Freyre

Gino Casales

Destino, 2018.132 pp. S/.39

Existen casos raros en la literatura, o en el arte en general, en los que juntas los elementos más disímiles y ridículos que se te puedan ocurrir y, sin embargo, el conjunto logra funcionar. Eso es justamente lo que ocurre con la primera novela de Carlos Enrique Freyre, El fantasmacopio, ahora reeditada por Planeta en una nueva y bastante bonita edición.

El fantasmacopio cuenta las historias de Teófilo Bernabé y María Estela, unidos a través del fantasmacopio, una máquina que permite establecer contacto con el más allá. María Estela es una reportera contactada por el ayudante de Teófilo, Cristo Moreno, para que se encargue de difundir la creación de la máquina. Ella es seleccionada por ser prima de Gianina Robinson, gran amor de Teófilo y muerta bastante joven. Teófilo, se nos revela, es una suerte de inventor innato con una capacidad brillante para comunicarse con las máquinas y lograr cosas maravillosas con ellas. De este modo, y motivado por la muerte de Gianina, construye el fantasmacopio para poder verla de nuevo. Por supuesto, en cuanto este invento llegue a ser conocido por el mundo, todo cambiará irreversiblemente.

La premisa es ridícula. Los personajes, caricaturas inverosímiles que no se agarran por ningún lado. Todo lo que se desarrolla a partir de la situación inicial es también difícil de tragar y no parece apuntar a nada específico. Las situaciones de ciencia ficción están tan poco justificadas que guardan más relación con el realismo mágico, solo que sin su encanto místico. La subtrama romántica es tan gratuita que termina molestando que el final gire alrededor de esta. Ni hablar de las caracterizaciones de los distintos estratos sociales del Perú, cada uno una simplificación burda y por momentos desdibujada. Nada en esta novela debería funcionar. Y sin embargo lo hace.

Por qué funciona es algo que solo le podemos achacar a la prosa de Freyre, quien, pese a que el libro no sea especialmente gracioso, logra adoptar un estilo satírico de tintes bryceanos que funciona sorprendentemente bien, considerando todo lo que la novela tiene en contra. La lectura es bastante ágil, las imágenes interesantes y a nivel de lenguaje deja frases que dan gusto leer. Al no ser un libro muy extenso además, no termina agotando por sus más que evidentes defectos, sino que el ritmo que construye Freyre permite dejarlos en suspenso para ser evaluados ya únicamente en retrospectiva.

Por otro lado, más allá de que la premisa sea simplemente ridícula, el discurso que le subyace tiene algunos elementos interesantes. La relación entre Teófilo y las máquinas es como una extensión cyberpunk de la relación orgánica entre comunidades andinas y la naturaleza. Así como los apus o los ríos, los carros y las cafeteras tienen también una voz propia que hay que saber escuchar. Son objetos vivos, con una voluntad que, al ser desentrañada, permite una relación fluida y de provecho para ambas partes. Este discurso, de tinte new age, viene acompañado de algunas reflexiones básicas sobre las desigualdades de clase en el Perú y una crítica del funcionamiento de los mass media. Estos dos aspectos complementarios son tratados sin mucha originalidad, pero contribuyen en darle al libro una personalidad y además un elemento crítico difícil de sospechar en un argumento tan risible.

No he tenido aún la oportunidad de leer los otros libros de Carlos Enrique Freyre (este último año hubieron varios comentarios sobre La guerra que hicieron para mí), pero, si con el tiempo ha logrado perfeccionar su manejo de los argumentos y construcción de personajes, me imagino que las otras novelas deben ser incluso mejores experiencias que esta.

Gino Canales
Estudiante de Humanidades con mención en Estudios teóricos y críticos por la PUCP. Fue miembro del colectivo Extramuros.
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