A 120 años de su natalicio: la pluma rebelde de Manuel Rojas

Los relatos de Manuel Rojas recogen experiencias marcadas por los conflictos sociales y políticos de principios del siglo XX: desde el movimiento obrero hasta la vida en los márgenes de la sociedad, el gran escritor chileno expresa la búsqueda constante de una sociedad distinta, a través de la dignidad y la solidaridad humana.

Gastón Carrasco

Hace 120 años nace en Buenos Aires Manuel Rojas Sepúlveda, de los chilenos Manuel Rojas Córdoba y Dorotea Sepúlveda González. Su periplo desde Argentina a Chile se ve narrado en su obra cúspide Hijo de ladrón (1951). En aquel viaje, cruzado por la experiencia del encuentro con el otro, da cuenta de las contrariedades de ser un hombre indocumentado, sin dinero y sin familia a la cual acudir. Al llegar a Valparaíso colisiona con la serie de marchas y protestas proletarias y estudiantiles del primer decenio del siglo XX. La impresión que dejan estas jornadas en él lo llevan a participar activamente en diarios anarquistas como La Batalla y el argentino La Protesta. Si bien no era la primera vez que Rojas se cruzaba con movimientos sociales de este tipo (en Argentina los había visto desde su vivienda en la calle Combate de los Pozos), la efervescencia social en Chile lo marca profundamente, al punto de volver en la escritura a ese punto culmine de movilización social.

La tetralogía de Aniceto Hevia, que se inicia con Hijo de ladrón, da cuenta no tan solo de la formación del personaje, sino de la manera en que la historia permea al relato. Rojas vuelve a los años de su juventud como una forma de entender qué ocurrió con esa “revolución” posible, cuyo horizonte se fue apagando con los años. Si bien se han propuesto varias lecturas anarquistas a la obra de Rojas (Darío Cortes, Víctor Muñoz Cortés, Fernando Uriarte, entre otros), pocas han sabido entender con la suficiente profundidad el alcance de esta. La movilidad identitaria de los personajes rojianos, entiéndase, el no lugar fijo de la identidad de estos sujetos, implica un lineamiento moral. No hay categorías fijas que determinen al sujeto, es decir, no se dejan permear por el “deber ser” de la elite. Más allá de una estrategia de visibilización de sujetos proscritos, Rojas nos muestra a hombres que son buenos o malos de manera eventual, dependiendo de la situación en la que se encuentren, o del lugar que ocupen. No hay juicios sobre sus acciones, se los muestra tal cual son. El mismo retrato de la delincuencia da cuenta de esto, pues se describe más allá del sujeto, una estructura de poder que lo aloja, mostrando, además, una apertura creativa del oficio “ladrón”, en contraposición a la alienación del sujeto obrero. Esto ciertamente se vuelve un lugar ambiguo, peligroso, para la elite. Básicamente, un obrero es peligroso para la elite porque da cuenta de las falencias del sistema, de las fisuras de la modernidad que se intenta instalar en el país.

Ante el desarraigo que genera posicionarse en el lugar del margen, la ilegalidad o la frontera, surge un espacio nuevo, ajeno tal vez a otras prácticas: solidaridad y compañerismo. En las pequeñas comunidades que generan los personajes en la narrativa de Rojas la amistad toma un lugar central, y no cualquier tipo de amistad, sino una que propone modos alternativos de existencia, distintos a los que la sociedad propone, o impone. Estos modos alternativos, en respuesta al modelo moralizador y disciplinante impuesto por la elite, nos sugieren pensar en un comportamiento nacido de la práctica o forma de vida al límite. En cierto momento del clásico cuento “El delincuente”, antes de que los personajes lleguen a la comisaría, el narrador nos dice: “Allí no había ni ladrones ni hombres honrados”, poniendo en suspensión todo juicio respecto a los sujetos. Respecto a esto, Lorena Ubilla señala: “podemos apreciar que el eje está puesto en la dignidad de unos sujetos quienes, constantemente despojados de ella por su condición de marginales, preservan no obstante un sustrato de humanidad de manera inequívoca”. Entonces, al cuestionar el sistema valórico moral de la sociedad, Rojas se sitúa como uno de los pocos narradores capaces de hacernos ver a estos sujetos “marginales” desde su humanidad, con un verdadero sentido del compañerismo y la fraternidad.

En el cuento “Laguna”, el narrador sostiene no tener recuerdos tan nítidos en su memoria como el de “aquel hombre”. Dicho sujeto, “Laguna”, el personaje, es uno más de los treinta hombres que va de Mendoza a la cordillera a trabajar. Al narrador los demás no le llaman la atención. No obstante, “Laguna era una fuente inagotable de anécdotas y frases graciosas. Mi juventud se sentía atraída por este hombre de treinta y cinco años, charlador inagotable, cuya vida era para mi adolescencia como una canción fuerte y heroica que me deslumbraba”. Qué rescata el joven sino la posibilidad de ser escucha de las narraciones de Laguna. La caracterización de “charlador inagotable” da cuenta de esto. Es la vida, experiencia o mala suerte de Laguna la que atrae al joven. Por otro lado, vemos desde el inicio del cuento que el joven convida cigarros a Laguna, incluso lo invita a dormir con él, ante la precariedad del paisaje cordillerano. Este gesto, ciertamente da cuenta de la confianza entre los sujetos. Y más allá de esto, el espíritu solidario de los camaradas. Hace sentido pensar en este punto en la moral de la solidaridad que plantea Bakunin: “ningún individuo humano puede reconocer su propia humanidad y, por tanto, realizarla en su vida, más que reconociéndose en otro y cooperando en su realización para otro”. Este principio de solidaridad, universal y social, implica una conciencia colectiva, nunca individual. El sujeto es tal, en tanto tiene la posibilidad de establecer un reconocimiento en el otro. He ahí el principio de libertad de Bakunin: “el hombre aislado no puede tener conciencia de su libertad. Ser libre, para el hombre, significa ser reconocido, considerado y tratado como tal por otro hombre, por todos los hombres que le rodean”.

Tanto el principio de solidaridad como el de libertad en Bakunin nos sirven para entender el actuar del joven respecto a Laguna. El gesto de invitarlo a dormir para capear el frío no tan solo da cuenta de esto, sino también de la noción de afecto. Es decir, no se trata tan solo de una relación emotiva con otro, sino también ser movido o apasionado por el contacto con algo que actúa. El joven es afectado por Laguna, pues ambos logran establecer un círculo comunitario-afectivo en un contexto de trabajo y adversidad natural. Es por esto que el final del cuento se vuelve desolador. Laguna no logra cruzar la cordillera. El joven busca por todas partes los rastros de su amigo sin resultado. No obstante, el relato es más bien calmo en esta parte, no hay mayor desgarro. El joven asume que Laguna duerme su último sueño en la cordillera, finalizando en su ley su vida: “¡Pobre roto fatal!”, nos dice. En cierto sentido, el afecto que siente el joven por Laguna, que traspasa los años, pues su recuerdo es lo que más nítidamente aparece en su memoria, se le endosa al lector. Esto es, sentir simpatía por la figura fatal de Laguna, lamentar su muerte como personaje, encariñarnos con la relación entre ambos. En definitiva, salimos afectados del relato. Es esta experiencia vital la que nos interesa resaltar como eje del humanismo rojiano. La experiencia del lector ante una vida o situación moral, más que frente a “literatura”, implica leer a sujetos más que a personajes ficcionales. En “Laguna” la fascinación del joven respecto al fatídico personaje debido a sus relatos, a la relación establecida entre orador y escucha, es la misma que se establece entre el lector y Rojas. La simpatía, o afecto más bien por los personajes, se le endosa al lector.

En el texto “De qué se nutre la esperanza”, publicado en la revista Babel, Rojas escribe lo siguiente: “Todo ser humano, por miserable que sea su condici6n, tiene una esperanza, pequeña o grande, noble o innoble, inalcanzable o próxima, pero esperanza a1 fin. Una parte de su ser vive en y de esa esperanza, se alimenta de ella y en ella”. Entendemos esta esperanza como algo vital, inexpugnable. Esta esperanza, como ha ido apareciendo en las últimas líneas de este escrito parece tener relación con la dignidad del hombre. Algo que va más allá de clases sociales, rótulos o categorías abstractas y externas que intentan limitar al sujeto. La posibilidad de no identificarse con dichas categorías dan al hombre la libertad de crear o desarrollar su identidad. Para esto, proponemos, la narración es una de las principales herramientas de la experiencia. El humanismo de Rojas, en este sentido, más que anarquista, o moral-cristiano, se aproxima a algo más bien experiencial, ajeno a la modernidad (arcaico, dice Jaime Concha), cercano a la oralidad (a lo popular): transmisión de conocimiento, sabiduría, experiencia, mediante el relato oral. La imagen se repite en varios de sus cuentos. Pero no es tan solo esto, hay afecto en la acción, pues al relatar la propia experiencia, al abrirse con el otro, se es afectado por ello. Hay un valor vital en dar cuenta de la propia experiencia, una pequeña muestra de confianza ante el lector/escucha, un gesto ínfimo tal vez, profundamente humano.

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