05 mayo, 2011

Hacer ver

Joseph CONRAD

En su prólogo a El negro del Narciso, Joseph Conrad dice que su intención fundamental como escritor es "hacer ver":

Fiction -- if it at all aspires to be art -- appeals to temperament. And in truth it must be, like painting, like music, like all art, the appeal of one temperament to all the other innumerable temperaments whose subtle and resistless power endows passing events with their true meaning, and creates the moral, the emotional atmosphere of the place and time. Such an appeal, to be effective, must be an impression conveyed through the senses; and, in fact, it cannot be made in any other way, because temperament, whether individual or collective, is not amenable to persuasion. All art, therefore, appeals primarily to the senses, and the artistic aim when expressing itself in written words must also make its appeal through the senses, if its high desire is to reach the secret spring of responsive emotions. It must strenuously aspire to the plasticity of sculpture, to the colour of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music -- which is the art of arts. And it is only through complete, unswerving devotion to the perfect blending of form and substance; it is only through an unremitting, never-discouraged care for the shape and ring of sentences that an approach can be made to plasticity, to colour; and the light of magic suggestiveness may be brought to play for an evanescent instant over the commonplace surface of words: of the old, old words, worn thin, defaced by ages of careless usage.

The sincere endeavour to accomplish that creative task, to go as far on that road as his strength will carry him, to go undeterred by faltering, weariness or reproach, is the only valid justification for the worker in prose. And if his conscience is clear, his answer to those who, in the fulness of a wisdom which looks for immediate profit, demand specifically to be edified, consoled, amused; who demand to be promptly improved, or encouraged, or frightened, or shocked, or charmed, must run thus: -- My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel -- it is, before all, to make you see. That -- and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm -- all you demand; and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.


Es verdad que pocas obras literarias tienen el vigor y la capacidad para plasmar imágenes certeras, imborrables, como ocurre en el caso de Conrad. Un gran ejemplo es la siguiente descripción que hace en Juventud del hundimiento de un barco. Toda una joya:

Una llama alta y clara, una llama inmensa y solitaria ascendió del océano, y desde su cima el negro humo fluyó constantemete hacia el cielo. Ardía con furia, lúgubre e impotente como una pira funeraria encendida en la noche, rodeado del mar, contemplado por las estrellas. Una muerte magnífica otorgada como una gracia, como un don, como una recompensa para aquel viejo barco al término de sus laboriosos días. La entrega de su fatigado espíritu a la tutela de las estrellas y del mar fue tan emocionante como la visión de un glorioso triunfo. Los palos cayeron justo antes del amanecer, y por un momento hubo un estallido y un alboroto de chispas que parecieron llenar los fuegos voladores de la noche paciente y vigilante, la vasta noche que yacía en silencio sobre el mar. A la luz de día, el barco era solo un cascarón carbonizado, flotando tranquilo bajo una nube de humo y con una resplandeciente masa de carbón en su seno.

(Traducción de este fragmento de Juventud: Vicente Muñoz Puelles; Anaya, Madrid, 2003)

4 comentarios:

Javier dijo...

Conrad, uno de los grandes! Buen posteo. Saludos.

El Gato dijo...

La retórica, dede los griegos, tiene una palabra para eso: hipotiposis. Investigala, Eduardo, te va a dar muy gratas sorpresas.

Un saludo.

Eduardo Berti dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Eduardo Berti dijo...

Lo haré, Gato. Usted sabe que sus recomendaciones son órdenes para mí!