Baldomero Lillo: el escritor que trasformó el horror de las minas en un relato de denuncia

Pese a su limitada formación, logró convertirse en el maestro del género del realismo social de Chile. Su pluma crítica se convirtió en una defensa emotiva de las clases populares durante la primera mitad del siglo XX.

Por Salvador Oskita

Baldomero Lillo fue un escritor chileno nacido en Lota que vivió entre los años 1867-1923. En su vida, el escritor logró desarrollar una sensibilidad tal al momento de escribir que lo catapultó a ser considerado el “padre del realismo social chileno”.

La afición de Lillo por la lectura parte desde muy pequeño gracias a su padre, desarrollando una riqueza descriptiva en sus relatos que se nutren principalmente por su infancia vivida en Lota.

Baldomero quizás, como muchos lotinos de la época, tuvo que abandonar sus estudios y comenzar a trabajar desde muy joven. Es así, que comienza a trabajar en una pulpería para aportar al sustento familiar.

El trabajo aquí no era tan duro como las labores campesinas o las de los piques del carbón, por lo que el tiempo libre que le quedaba lo usa para comenzar a leer, a diferencia de muchos de los trabajadores de la época que sufrían los males del alcoholismo.

Es así como se nutre de importantes y reconocidos escritores tales como Dostoievki, Dikens y Balzac, por nombrar algunos. Dicha influencia permite desarrollar en el escritor la mirada punzante sobre la miseria de los trabajadores de Lota, principalmente los trabajadores del carbón.

Posteriormente se traslada a Santiago y gracias a su hermano Samuel, es que logra conocer  y adentrarse en el mundo literario de la capital. Gracias a estos encuentros, es que sus cuentos mineros se comienzan a hacer conocidos en estos círculos.

Para el año 1903 consigue su primera publicación en La Revista Católica, al ganar el concurso de cuentos con Juan Fariña y un año más tarde publica Sub Terra. En el libro Baldomero logra retratar con una impactante crudeza y realismo los peligros del trabajo minero y la alienante forma de vida que llevaban los trabajadores del carbón.

Para el año 1907 publica su libro Sub Sole, en donde en trece relatos retrata la vida campesina, la minería del salitre y las costumbres del inquilinaje y de la sociedad de la época.

Este mismo año comienza un viaje hacia Iquique, auspiciado por la Universidad de Chile, para comenzar una novela sobre la matanza de la Escuela Santa María. Lamentablemente este trabajo no logra ser terminado.

El retiro anticipado del mundo de las letras del escritor es producto del deterioro de salud que sufre por los efectos de la tuberculosis. Producto de esta enfermedad, Baldomero Lillo fallece el 10 de diciembre de 1923.

Tras su muerte el escritor deja un legado de crítica social en donde sus escritos aún tienen una vigencia tal que hace evidente la necesidad de luchar por un mundo en donde los trabajadores puedan disfrutar del beneficio de su labor sin ser explotados y sometidos a trabajos vejatorios y condenados a vidas alienantes y miserables.

124 Comments

  1. Baldomero, un crack nacional. Y pensar que hace unos años pude haberme robado todas sus obras completas reunidas en un tomo y no lo hice… (ustedes comprenderan que en el pais con el impuesto al libro mas alto del mundo es casi una obligacion moral de lector el robarse un libro)

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