CULTURA

Opinión: Frankenstein Bicentenario

Frankenstein/Bicentario/Opinión

«Un ser que ni el propio Dante habría podido imaginar» 

(V. Frankenstein)

Dos metros y medio de estatura, cráneo aplanado, piel amarillenta y remendada, labios casi negros, caminar lento y pesado: es Frankenstein.

Su historia es bien conocida. Producto de un experimento que buscaba recrear la vida a partir de cadáveres, es un ser tan espantoso como sensible y cultivado. Rechazado por el hombre que le dio existencia, vaga con miedo y rabia por un mundo hostil. Sus emociones básicas lo convierten en homicida: asesina por reacción, no por naturaleza. Nunca dejará de buscar a su creador, intentando encontrar en él aceptación y, sobre todo, sentido («¡¿Por qué existo?!»).

Frankenstein es un humanoide que desafía el orden natural, una aberración. Como Quasimodo en El jorobado de Notre Dame, la criatura está consciente de su fealdad extrema, pero desea desesperadamente vivir y entender.

LA MADRE DEL MONSTRUO

Si en la novela el monstruo tiene como creador al doctor  Víctor Frankenstein (de quien toma el nombre), en la realidad fue la británica Mary W. Shelley (1797-1851) quien le dio vida literaria. Mujer singular mrs. Shelley. Hija única de dos filósofos (William Godwin, notable anarquista; Mary Wollstonecfraft, la primera feminista inglesa) perdió muy temprano a la madre y se crió en un ambiente de continua excitación intelectual: mientras sus contemporáneas jugaban con muñecas y aprendían a ser ladies, Mary Jane escuchaba conversaciones sobre temas filosófico-políticos, atisbaba las novedosas ciencias naturales y seguía la Revolución Industrial. En semejante ambiente la pequeña Mary desarrolló un espíritu curioso, libre e imaginativo, aunque con una tristeza de fondo que gritaba la ausencia materna.

Emancipada y liberal, a sus 16 años fugó de la casa paterna con el poeta Percy B. Shelley, otro espíritu rebelde poco antes expectorado de la Universidad de Oxford acusado de «Propagar el ateísmo». Mary y Percy serán una de las parejas más famosas de la época y tendrán 4 hijos, pero solo uno de ellos sobrevivirá en ese tiempo de infecciones incurables.  Para no desentonar, Percy murió ahogado a los 29, en Italia. La vida de Mary estuvo marcada por pérdidas prematuras e irremplazables.

EL PARTO DE LA CRIATURA

En la Villa Diodati, frente al suizo Lago Leman, Mary y un grupo de amigos imaginaron tramas horrorosas para participar en el concurso de cuentos fantasmales convocado por el célebre Lord Byron. De aquella noche en 1816, durante el verano más frío del siglo XIX, sacó mrs. Shelley la idea germinal de su futura novela.

El 1 de enero de 1818 apareció la primera -y anónima- edición de Frankenstein o el moderno Prometeo con un éxito inmediato. Habrá que esperar hasta la segunda (1823) para encontrar el nombre de la autora. No faltaron quienes atribuyeron la novela a Percy Shelley, quizá incapaces de aceptar la genialidad venida de una mujer, por lo que Mary tuvo que callarlos al presentar la tercera edición (1831): «No le debo a mi marido la sugerencia de ningún episodio…sin embargo, si no hubiera sido por su estímulo, esta historia nunca habría adquirido la forma con la cual se presentó al mundo». Fue ella -y solo ella- quien parió al monstruo.

LECTURAS DE FRANKENSTEIN

Como metáfora, Frankenstein es diversas cosas: reflejo de la tempranísima orfandad de Mary Shelley; la incomprendida condición de colectivos marginados del siglo XIX (esclavos, mujeres, etc.); el temor ante un mundo que cambia rápidamente. Y este ser hecho de retazos es también nosotros mismos: suturados tras incontables golpes, pálidos por el desencanto, logramos sobrevivir a un Creador que no se encuentra y a un mundo en el que no nos encontramos. Todos somos -un poco- Frankenstein, el bicentenario.

 

Hernán Yamanaka
Lector obsesivo, conversador impenitente. Estudió educación, filosofía y teología.
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