CULTURA

Reseña: “República luminosa” de Andrés Barba

Anagrama, 2017. 192 pp. S/. 69

Hace mucho tiempo que no leía en una novela un gesto de provocación como el que ha hecho Andrés Barba (Madrid, 1975) al cargar contra “El Principito”, una de las novelas más idealizadas en todo el planeta. En las páginas 39 y 40 se dice lo siguiente: “Lo había leído en mi infancia con cierto interés, pero al leérselo a mi hija me empezó a producir un rechazo que me costaba trabajo explicarme. Al principio pensé que me irritaba su cursilería, toda aquella instancia solitaria del niño y su mundo, el planeta, la bufandita cimbreada por el viento, el zorro, la rosa, hasta que de pronto entendí que se trataba de un libro perfectamente maligno. El Principito lega a un planeta en el que se encuentra con un zorro que le dice que no puede jugar porque aun no está <<domesticado>>. <<¿Qué significa domesticar?>>, pregunta el Principito, y, tras un par de evasivas, el zorro contesta que <<crear lazos>>. << ¿Crear lazos?>>, replica el Principito, más asombrado todavía y el zorro responde con una magnífica joya de mala fe: << Claro, todavía no eres para mí más que un niño parecido a otros cien mil niños. Y no te necesito. Y tú tampoco me necesitas. Pero si me domesticas, tendremos necesidad uno del otro.>> (…) Al igual que El Principito, también nosotros pensábamos que nuestro amor privado por nuestros hijos lo transfiguraba, que incluso con los ojos vendados habríamos podido identificar sus voces entre miles de voces infantiles. Lo confirmaba tal vez el hecho inverso: el de que aquellos otros niños que iban ocupando poco a poco nuestras calles eran versiones más o menos indistinguibles del mismo niño o la misma niña, niños <<parecidos a otros cien mil niños>>. A quienes no necesitábamos. Que no nos necesitaban. Y a los que, por supuesto, había que domesticar.”

Enfrentarse a los libros de autoayuda lo hacen prácticamente todos los escritores, lo mismo que a los políticos viles de turno. Pero hacerlo desde lo literario contra uno de los libros más citados cuando se pregunta por los “libros favoritos de toda la vida”, sí que provoca una sonrisa cómplice. Y por si no basta con ello, cuestiona políticamente de paso la idea de la “apropiación” y la valoración de solo lo que se piensa propio y que aquello que no se tiene, debe ser conquistado/ domesticado. Y Barba lo hace sin interrumpir la ficción, citando el episodio del zorro, pero que le sirve como recurso para caracterizar el sentimiento de rechazo de una sociedad por aquellos con menos posibilidades de sobrevivir como sucede en San Cristóbal, erigida en medio de una selva que iguala la pobreza, la unifica y la borra. Si no se es capaz de controlar algo, debe procederse a su eliminación.

Lo sórdido está a un pequeño paso de lo pintoresco, se dice en la novela, lo cual es cierto si nos remitimos a una trama en la que un grupo de niños de origen desconocido irrumpe de a pocos en una pequeña ciudad olvidada y empieza a robar y realizar otro tipo de delitos, y nadie parece saber dónde se esconden, aumentando la incomodidad y desesperación. Caricaturesco si se resume así, pero el ambiente de la novela se va impregnando de una oscura pátina de terror mientras vamos conociendo los hechos relatados por la crónica de este foráneo en una crónica escrita con resignación y culpa, décadas después. La novela comienza con este narrador diciendo que 32 niños perdieron la vida, transformando la curiosidad por conocer las consecuencias trágicas, en una por esclarecer los motivos que llevaron a tal fatídico desenlace.

Los niños pueden ser los seres más crueles, es una frase común, pero de tantas veces que se menciona, pierde fuerza y su terrible significado se diluye. Durante la infancia, la ley y el orden no existen o son solo mitos, construcciones de la “domesticación” por parte de los adultos. Es la edad en la que ser salvaje está permitido y con ello, la crueldad encuentra una tierra fértil donde germinar. Y parece absurdo el tan solo hecho pensar que unas criaturas de tan corta edad puedan pensar con maldad, pero “el hecho de que ciertas cosas sean demasiado absurdas no impide que suceda. (pág. 80). De ahí la incomodidad de los ciudadanos de San Cristóbal por tan solo imaginarlo, y de que estas ideas puedan aplicarse a sus propios hijos. De que el mal del otro, el rechazado pueda ser el propio también.

Barba narra con oficio, con una novela que no pierde interés en ningún momento, y que despliega los hechos sin algún tufillo moralista pero que sí apela al cuestionamiento del lector, invitando a preguntar cuál seria nuestra reacción y como el poder de crear monstruos no nos están ajeno, y cómo las instituciones sociales pueden pender de un hilo si la confianza se empieza a resquebrajar por un hecho tan simple como contundente: el no reconocimiento del otro como igual, sino como alguien a quien se debe “domesticar”. Muy recomendable.

Sebastián Uribe
25 años. Economista de la Universidad de Piura y administrador de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Estuvo en el curso de Economía del BCR. Ha publicado reseñas en El Dominical, El Roommate y Solo Tempestad. Su blog personal es “Un perro romántico”. En la actualidad anda buscando espacio para sus libros.
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