RESEÑAS

Palmagallarda, todavía inacabada 

Ignacio Romero de Solís
Palmagallarda II. La vapora
Sevilla, Renacimiento, 2019
600 pp. COMPRAR ESTE LIBRO

Quienes hace diez o quince años corrieron a leer cuatro libros sobre la Guerra Civil para poder improvisar el suyo, y que hace cinco temporadas se apuntaron a la «autoficción», son los mismos que ahora, de repente, han descubierto que hay que escribir novelas de doscientas ochenta páginas para explicarnos que hay que tratar bien a las mujeres, algo de lo que, al parecer, se han enterado ahora, y necesitan informarnos sobre ello de una forma muy seria, educarnos urgentemente al respecto. Conviene desconfiar de tales escritores, cuyas preocupaciones de cada época coinciden milimétricamente con los temas de moda o las tendencias editoriales, y, en consecuencia, se agradece la existencia (la supervivencia, cabría decir) de otros cuya obra se va construyendo al margen de toda conveniencia calculada o de cualquier estrategia de imagen. Tanto por temas como por perspectiva o como, sobre todo, por estilo, Ignacio Romero de Solís (Sevilla, 1937) anda bastante desubicado del presente, totalmente a lo suyo, y eso se agradece por definición. Será lo que sea, pero es incontestablemente genuino, literatura con denominación de origen.

Si una reseña literaria ha de servir, entre otras cosas, para intentar ayudar a que un libro encuentre a sus lectores naturales, o a que cada cual acierte con sus lecturas, el grueso libro que acaba de ofrecernos es fácil de redirigir: gustará mucho a aquellos que disfrutaran en 2016 de su primera parte, Rosas, calas y magnolias, y aburrirá a aquellos a los que les impacientara su ritmo, sus continuas digresiones, su forma exageradamente demorada de ir avanzando en la acción. También hay términos medios, por supuesto, y en ellos me situaría yo mismo: no me arrebata poderosamente la novela, ni consigo que el destino de sus personajes, digamos, me preocupe en exceso, pero sí disfruto de sus cadencias, me hace gracia lo poco que, al cabo, parece importar la trama central, que puede llegar a parecer un pretexto para ir contando detalles históricos, o para hablar de literatura o, muy especialmente, como ocurriera en la primera parte, para relamerse divagando sobre aspectos gastronómicos.

Es obvio que Romero de Solís se complace en la amplificación: es su apuesta narrativa y se lo pasa bien con ella, narrando pormenorizadamente las cosas, demorándose en las minucias, aportando ciertas informaciones no sé si superfluas pero desde luego sí innecesarias por completo para el argumento, y en las que, sin embargo, al final parece residir buena parte no sólo del volumen del libro, sino de su espíritu. Ningún fenómeno literario es arbitrario o casual, es imposible que algo no sea significativo (aunque pueda serlo al margen de la voluntad de su autor).

Estas seiscientas páginas, añadidas a las seiscientas ochenta de la primera parte, ofrecen, por tanto, más de lo mismo, pero la cosa no se parece tanto a un bucle como a una espiral: se da muchas vueltas, sí, pero de un modo ascendente, cada vez mejor, y por otro lado, obviamente, se va avanzando en el tiempo. Si en 2016 leímos todo lo que ocurrió en la casa señorial de Recuerda en los siete primeros meses de 1936, y terminaba con el asesinato de uno de sus principales personajes (y la desaparición de otro), aquí nos vemos sumergidos de lleno en la guerra en Sevilla, aunque sus consecuencias y sufrimientos nos llegan de un modo tan amortiguado como a la propia familia protagonista, tan extremadamente privilegiada (y, en consecuencia, tan inconsciente de algunas cosas…), que han conseguido trasladarse a Inglaterra y continuar allí con su vida de paseos, conversaciones, infusiones y canapés. Incluso algunos de sus criados, en España (pero habiendo prosperado notablemente tras afiliarse en Falange), se detienen a debatir sobre si les gustan más los filetes de gamo o los de ciervo, mientras allá fuera vuelan todavía los disparos.

Palmagallarda es una novela muy deliberadamente vertical, en el sentido «estamental»: se asoma a la vida de la upper class de la época pero también curiosea en la rutina de la miseria de los criados, los cocheros, las prostitutas…, y en este caso, además, en el contexto bélico. De lo más distinguido a lo más arrabalero, al modo de los escritores naturalistas, y con un afán totalizador semejante: el fresco de la época queda más completo atendiendo con cierta minuciosidad todas las capas sociales, desde las vajillas con filigranas de oro a las ladillas. También los aspectos morales son extremos, y en general no hay mucho que esperar de cada cual, intentando pescar en el río revuelto de 1937. En el imaginario del autor las clases altas tienen más principios y escrúpulos que la servidumbre, pero no se oculta o ignora que las circunstancias son distintas, que el punto de partida es determinante para entender cada reacción.

Una tesis de la novela, ya adelantada de algún modo en la contracubierta, es que para la aristocracia cualquier revolución es nefasta, y en ese sentido la agresión militar de 1936, que tantas veces se autoproclamó «movimiento revolucionario», no fue en absoluto distinta, sino más bien la puntilla de lo que estaba en decadencia natural desde los albores del siglo XX. Ya no sólo la guerra, sino el nuevo régimen implicó una brutalidad de raíz que no podía llevarse bien con las maneras, la distinción y los hábitos de las familias más adineradas. El fundador de Falange procedía de una «buena» familia, pero sus hombres y herederos sólo podían hacer ascos a la crema chantilly o despreciar los trucos para hacer más crujiente la parte grasienta del pato asado… Poner orden en España pasaba por arrasar con todo ello, y cualquier versión de la justicia social tiende a lo horizontalizante.

Palmagallarda, todavía inacabada (y esta segunda parte también se cierra con la muerte de un personaje principal), viene siendo, así, una novela sobre el ocaso, una elegía no especialmente melancólica de algo que se apagó hace décadas, y que se recrea con más ánimo de retrato que de homenaje. Y a eso es a lo que queríamos llegar: quien busque una trepidante novela sobre la guerra saldrá probablemente insatisfecho, confundido, pero quien busque una recreación de un mundo cancelado entenderá que tanta digresión, tanta charla de media tarde, tantos detalles sobre indumentaria u horarios de misas… no eran distracciones ni torpezas narrativas, sino exactamente lo que se quería relatar. A la espera del punto final en la trama, de momento tenemos el punto del roast-beef, y de eso, precisamente, se trataba.

Juan Marqués es poeta y crítico literario. Es autor de los poemarios Un tiempo libre (Granada, Comares, 2008) y Abierto (Valencia, Pre-Textos, 2010).

16/10/2019

 
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