Mi obsesión con los cuentos y novelas de Juan Carlos Onetti

Primero que todo, reconozco que ya he escrito más sobre este autor que sobre los demás autores en su conjunto. Me atrevo a decir que las obras de Onetti para mí son como La Perla de Gran Precio de la Biblia; que han llegado a ser de un valor incalculable para mí.

Mi lectura predilecta sin lugar a dudas son las novelas. Prefiero leer una novela a lo largo de una serie de 6 ó 7 etapas en lugar de leer 6 ó 7 cuentos, cada uno por completo a su vez. Pero ya había leído casi todas las novelas escritas por Onetti cuando comencé a leer El viaje a la ficción del escritor Mario Vargas Llosa, Premio Nobel de Literatura 2010. Me llamó la atención cómo elogió varios cuentos de Onetti, sobre todo El infierno tan temible.

Cuando llegó al momento de resumir y criticar éste, Vargas Llosa lo hizo así:

“[L]as pocas páginas de que consta El infierno tan temido son engañosas, pues, aunque la historia parece de entrada claramente inteligible, la verdad es que toda ella está cargada de sobreentendidos, alusiones, pistas, referencias, omisiones y acertijos que permiten lecturas muy diversas y hacen de ella unas suerte de palimpsesto en el que distintos niveles superpuestos de escritura trazan una inquietante descripción de la vocación de crueldad congénita a la condición humana”

Más tarde, en una entrevista hecha por resonancias.org, resumió este cuento de la siguiente manera:

“El infierno tan temido” es uno de los grandes cuentos de la literatura. El consigue mostrar algo que no sabemos definir muy bien: el mal, el pecado original, el instinto tanático. “Las fieras” [ de Roberto Arlt], y desde luego, en “El infierno tan temido”, que es un cuento que no sé cuántas veces he leído, me producen siempre una especie de terror metafísico. Uno descubre que también somos eso. Y es también absolutamente extraordinario que, al mismo tiempo, a todo eso se lo pueda llamar una historia de amor. Una historia de amor, digamos, retorcida, perversa, pero hay ahí una especie de entendimiento en esa pareja a través de esos horrores que se hacen.

Poco después de leer estos comentarios compré un ejemplar de Cuentos Completos de Juan Carlos Onetti y leí El infierno tan temible. Lo leí y lo volví a leer. Estoy de acuerdo con lo que dijo Vargas Llosa: estas páginas de hecho son engañosas y éstas no pueden ser desenredados mediante una sola lectura.

Se lo recomiendo, sin reserva alguna,  a todos que lean esta entrada. No será necesario que compren este tomo tan grueso que compré yo, a menos que ya sean aficionados de las obras de Onetti; que, en tal caso, sería una maravillosa adquisición. Este cuento está disponible en forma PDF en varias páginas Web, inclusive en cervantes.com.

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In Hiding 

This is only the second post I have reblogged.

Quoted from the original blog: “I always remind myself that I am only one bad decision away from being on that or some other list myself.”

This is a doctor’s prescription I want to take to heart.

Behind the White Coat

screens at Versailles

I have a habit of checking the State Medical Board discipline postings whenever they come out to see if anyone I know is on there.

Typically there is no one. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I found someone that I knew.

This time, however, I found two.

Two.

The first I recognized as an old classmate of mine from medical school. He lost his license due to substance abuse… alcohol specifically. Several DUIs. A failed treatment program. I wondered when that issue started. In medical school he never seemed to be a partier. There were those but he did not run with that group. He was quiet. Studious. Funny. I liked him back then. What happened between then and now? All of those years of training and sacrifice. What is left of his life? His family?

The other was a man I had worked with as a…

Ver la entrada original 179 palabras más

Critically Thinking Our Place in the World

the-power-and-the-glory-graham-greene-header

One of the criteria I often use to decide whether I want to read more of a novelist’s works is whether he or she has made me stop reading in a heartbeat to re-read and digest a powerful phrase, sentence or brief paragraph before reading further.

I recently wrote about the late British novelist Graham Greene in my post Where’s the Danger and cited a sentence from his Novel The Power and the Glory.

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(Above): Graham Greene,as he looked at the approximate age this book was published. He was born in October of 1904 and died at the age of 86 in April of 1991. During his adult life he wrote at least 25 novels, which he divided,by his own subjective criteria into “novels” and “entertainments”, the latter being more for enjoyment and temporary escape from daily anxieties.

 

Novelist Scott Turow told his NPR hosts in 2006 that he had bought The Power and the Glory some 40 years earlier, which would have mad him about 17 at the time of this purchase. He went on to say that he still had this very same book in his library, which should indicate his passion for it. The following quote is from this same interview with him:

The novel captivated me completely. It was a thriller — but also a novel of ideas.514joptq0ol Greene’s elegant use of detail, the author’s profound knowledge of his characters, and his novel’s unrelenting suspense marked the book to me as a work of the highest literary art. [. . .] But I had no question when I read, and then repeatedly re-read, The Power and the Glory, that it was a book I would have simply died to write. —Scott Turow on NPR

 

The following is  the meat of this blog post—the second quote from the same book that made me stop and reflect on what I felt was a revelation —a poignant insight into our flawed (fallen, for some) human nature.

In our hearts there is a ruthless dictator, ready to contemplate the misery of a thousand strangers if it will ensure the happiness of the few we love.

I leave it without comment. That’s the way I came across it, and I feel any attempt to illustrate or explain it on my part would only detract from it. It was written to stand alone as a strong call for introspection.