domingo, 28 de octubre de 2012

Selected short stories – Guy de Maupassant





Breve reseña personal: Selected short stories de Guy de Maupassant (escritor francés, 1850) es una compilación de algunos de los cuentos más conocidos del autor, iniciando, por supuesto, con Bola de sebo, su primera y más importante obra, que apareció en 1880 en la antología que hizo Émile Zola titulada Las veladas de Médan. Es un relato de 'gran corte realista', según su mentor Flaubert (escritor de Madame Bovary).


Gracias a este relato, Maupassant adquirió renombre y prestigio en el ambiente literario y fue el género en que más destacó, pues llegó a escribir más de 300 cuentos y se le iguala con Edgar Allan Poe en lo referente a los relatos de terror, cuestión por lo que se convirtió para mí en lectura obligada y que tuve hasta ahora el placer de interpretar.

A pesar de que esta colección de cuentos no abunda en la temática de terror, su narrativa fluida y el manejo cuidadoso que hace del lenguaje crean atractivas líneas llenas de diversos significados que en conjunto construyen la atmósfera necesaria para cada relato, en donde toca temáticas tan diversas como la guerra franco prusiana, la prostitución, la vida simple de los campesinos normandos, el adulterio, la muerte, la venganza y los dilemas sentimentales.

El motivo por el que no retrasé más su lectura fue gracias a que recientemente descubrí un video titulado 'Ray Bradbury Gives 12 Pieces of Writing Advice to Young Authors' (2001) debido a mi nueva fijación con él, y descubrí que el tercer consejo es el siguiente:

                                    Examine “quality” short stories. He suggests Roald Dahl,
                                    Guy de Maupassant, and the lesser-known Nigel Kneale and
                                                                       John Collier.

El video en general es genial y es un must en caso de que les guste escribir y sean fans (como yo) de Bradbury.

Usualmente no comento mucho sobre la vida de los autores, pero en el caso de Maupassant fue algo que contribuyó demasiado para atraerme a su trabajo, y es que tal como lo dice el prólogo '(...) his writing greatly reflected his dissatisfaction with the world.' Vivió presa de la tensión y el agotamiento por fuertes depresiones; tenía síntomas de demencia hereditarios (Hervé, su hermano menor, muere por locura en 1889) y sufría de desordenes mentales debido a la sífilis, todo esto por supuesto reflejado en su obra. Tras varios intentos de suicidio finalmente, en 1893, muere internado en una clínica sin haber recobrado el conocimiento y es sepultado en su país de origen.

Frases destacadas de los cuentos:

For hatred of the foreigner always inspires a few brave men, ready to die for an ideal.” P. 17

Sharp words were even exchanged over trifles.” P. 44

The crude violence of nature or man may bring cries of horror or indignation to our lips, but it does not wring the heart or send the shiver down the spine, as does the sight of certain heart-rending, though trivial, incidents.” P. 58

(...) painters specialize in absurd mariages. They nearly always marry a model, who has been somebody else's mistress before (...)” P. 96

You ought to read Alphonse Daudet's little book, Artists' Wives – a gem of a book, so true to life and so cruel.” P. 97

Who can say how much the element of cruelty and how much that of sincerity ever enters into women's actions? (...) They are passionate, criminal, devoted, heroic or mean, at the bidding of fleeting emotions, of which they are quite unconsciuos.” P. 97

He fell in love with her, as a man always falls in love with any attractive woman whom he sees a lot of. He imagined he really loved her. It is a curious phenomenon. As soon as a man wants a woman, he is geniunely convinced that he will never be able to do without her for the rest of his natural life. He is fully aware that the same thing has happened to him before and that, when desire is satisfied, disgust ensues; he knows that, in order to spend one's whole life with another human being, it is not the transient passion of the primitive animal that is needed, but a kinship of soul, temperament and feeling. He must be able to distinguish, in the midst of the attraction he feels, whether it is the result of purely physical factors, a kind of intoxication of the senses, or of the deeper union of minds.” P.98

We felt as though we could perform superhuman feats and fall in love with the fictious creations of our own poetical imagination; we were oddly aware of the stirring of strange emotions, longings and aspiratins.” P. 99

'If you marry, I shall kill myself...you understand that.'
He shrugged his shoulders:
'Very well – kill yourself.'
'You say... you say... say that again.'
He repeated:
'Well, kill yourself, if you want to.'
She went on, alarmingly pale:
'Don't think I don't mean it; I'll throw myself out of the window.'
He began to laugh, went to the window, opEned it and, like a man bowing a guest out of a room, said politely:
'This way – after you!'
She stared at him for a moment with the light of madness in her eyes; then, taking a run as if she were going to jump over a hedge in a field, she dashed past both of us and, clearing the balcony railing, disappeared from sight.” P. 102

(...) lost in the jungle of life, where all our instincts, our tastes, our passions are paths to lead us astray (...) with a child's fear of the dangers of the unknown.” P. 110

(...) she couldn't live in the cottage without imagining all day, and especially all night, that they would all be murdered.” P. 112

(...) his heart was torn with the strange physical agony of a man who has never succeeded in quite forgetting and is living again through the tortures of the past (...)” P. 117

(...) her words tripped over one another, fighting for utterance.” P. 204

Boredom had made them irritable.” P. 214

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario