17.11.16

Ni perfecto ni recién llegado


Toda realidad es necesariamente una realidad cualquiera. En efecto, la determinación necesaria es al mismo tiempo una marca de lo fortuito. No es que sea necesaria por el hecho de ser esto y no aquello, ni por ser esto o aquello, sino por no poder escapar a la necesidad de ser algo, es decir, de ser una cosa cualquiera. Ahora bien, al estar cualquier realidad total y necesariamente determinada, también es total y necesariamente una realidad cualquiera.
Esta verdad vale para toda la realidad, salvo para una sola no obstante, a la que nos referiremos más adelante.    

*El complejo de dinero. Juan Rodrigáñez, 2015. Diseño: Andrés Navarro.  
*Lo real: tratado de la idiotez. Clement Rosset. (Trad: Rafael del Hierro Oliva.)

11.11.16

Hagamos otra lista



Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, Members of the Jury, Distinguished Laureates, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a great honor to stand here before you tonight. Perhaps, like the great maestro, Riccardo Muti, I am not used to standing in front of an audience without an orchestra behind me, but I will do my best as a solo artist tonight.
I stayed up all night last night wondering what I might say to this august assembly. And after I had eaten all the chocolate bars and peanuts in the mini-bar, I scribbled a few words. I don’t think I have to refer to them. Obviously, I am deeply touched to be recognized by the Foundation. But I've come here tonight to express another dimension of gratitude. I think I can do it in three or four minutes -- and I will try.
When I was packing in Los Angeles to come here, I had a sense of unease because I’ve always felt some ambiguity about an award for poetry. Poetry comes from a place that no one commands and no one conquers. So I feel somewhat like a charlatan to accept an award for an activity which I do not command. In other words, if I knew where the good songs came from I'd go there more often.
I was compelled in the midst of that ordeal of packing to go and open my guitar. I have a Conde guitar, which was made in Spain in the great workshop at Number 7 Gravina Street; a beautiful instrument that I acquired over 40 years ago. I took it out of the case and I lifted it. It seemed to be filled with helium -- it was so light. And I brought it to my face. I put my face close to the beautifully designed rosette, and I inhaled the fragrance of the living wood. You know that wood never dies.
I inhaled the fragrance of cedar as fresh as the first day that I acquired the guitar. And a voice seemed to say to me, "You are an old man and you have not said thank you; you have not brought your gratitude back to the soil from which this fragrance arose." And so I come here tonight to thank the soil and the soul of this people that has given me so much -- because I know just as an identity card is not a man, a credit rating is not a country.
Now, you know of my deep association and confraternity with the poet Federico García Lorca. I could say that when I was a young man, an adolescent, and I hungered for a voice, I studied the English poets and I knew their work well, and I copied their styles, but I could not find a voice. It was only when -- when I read, even in translation, the works of Lorca that I understood that there was a voice. It is not that I copied his voice; I would not dare. But he gave me permission to find a voice, to locate a voice; that is, to locate a self, a self that that is not fixed, a self that struggles for its own existence.
And as I grew older I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.
And so I had a voice, but I did not have an instrument. I did not have a song.
And now I’m going to tell you very briefly a story of how I got my song.
Because -- I was an indifferent guitar player. I banged the chords. I only knew a few of them. I sat around with my college friends, drinking and singing the folk songs, or the popular songs of the day, but I never in a thousand years thought of myself as a musician or as a singer.
One day in the early '60s, I was visiting my mother’s house in Montreal. The house is beside a park and in the park there's a tennis court where many people come to watch the beautiful young tennis players enjoy their sport. I wandered back to this park which I’d known since my childhood, and there was a young man playing a guitar. He was playing a flamenco guitar, and he was surrounded by two or three girls and boys who were listening to him. I loved the way he played. There was something about the way he played that -- that captured me.
It was the way I wanted to play -- and knew that I would never be able to play.
And I sat there with the other listeners for a few moments and when there was a -- a silence, an appropriate silence, I asked him if he would give me guitar lessons. He was a young man from Spain, and we could only communicate in my broken French and his broken French. He didn’t speak English. And he agreed to give me guitar lessons. I pointed to my mother’s house which you could see from the tennis court, and we made an appointment; we settled the price.
And he came to my mother’s house the next day and he said, “Let me hear you play something.” I tried to play something. He said, “You don’t know how to play, do you?" I -- I said, “No, I really don’t know how to play.” He said, "First of all, let me tune your guitar. It’s -- It's all out of tune.” So he took the guitar, and -- and he tuned it. He said, "It’s not a bad guitar." It -- It wasn’t the Conde, but it wasn’t a bad guitar. So he handed it back to me. He said, “Now play.”
[I] couldn’t play any better.
He said "Let me show you some chords." And he took the guitar and he produced a sound from that guitar that I'd never heard. And he -- he played a sequence of chords with a tremolo, and he said, "Now you do it." I said, "It’s out of the question. I can’t possibly do it." He said, "Let me put your fingers on the frets." And he -- he put my fingers on the frets. And he said, "Now, now play." It -- It was a mess. He said, "I’ll come back tomorrow."
He came back tomorrow. He put my hands on the guitar. He -- He placed it on my lap in the way that was appropriate, and I began again with those six chords -- six chord progression that many, many flamenco songs are based on.
I was a little better that day.
The third day -- improved, somewhat improved. But I knew the chords now. And I knew that although I couldn’t coordinate my fingers with my thumb to produce the correct tremolo pattern, I knew the chords -- I knew them very, very well by this point.
The next day, he didn’t come. He didn’t come. I had the number of his -- of his boarding house in Montreal. I phoned to find out why he had missed the appointment, and they told me that he'd taken his life -- that he committed suicide. I knew nothing about the man. I -- I did not know what part of Spain he came from. I did not know why he came to Montreal. I did not know why he stayed there. I did not know why he he appeared there in that tennis court. I did not know why he took his life. I -- I was deeply saddened, of course.
But now I disclose something that I’ve never spoken in public. It was those six chords -- it was that guitar pattern that has been the basis of all my songs and all my music.
So now you will begin to understand the dimensions of the gratitude I have for this country.
Everything that you have found favorable in my work comes from this place.
Everything, everything that you have found favorable in my songs and my poetry are inspired by this soil.
So I thank you so much for the warm hospitality that you have shown my work because it is really yours, and you have allowed me to affix my signature to the bottom of the page.
Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.

*Discurso de aceptación del Premio Príncipe de Asturias, 2011.

9.11.16

La era del guano


Motivo:
Anuncio de Abonos Nitrato de Chile.
Pintor:
Desconocido.
Fábrica:
Ramón Castelló. Valencia.
Técnica:
Cuerda seca.
Fecha:
Hacia 1930.
Medidas:
Había de diversos tamaños según la fachada.
Más datos:
El cartel fue diseñado hacia 1929 en estilo Art Decó por el entonces joven estudiante de arquitectura Adolfo López-Durán Lozano ( Madrid, 1902-1988) que fuera años más tarde catedrático de Dibujo de Formas de la Escuela Superior de Arquitectura madrileña. El producto publicitado era un fertilizante compuesto a base de nitrato de sodio, que en el país chileno contaba con grandes depósitos naturales; el alza de su exportación hacia Europa no tardaría en darle la hegemonía monopolizadora en el sector.
 Se fabricaron numerosos murales hasta mediados del siglo XX, distribuidos por pueblos y ciudades de España y Portugal. Lamentablemente, muchos se han perdido.

*Nitrato de Chile. Adolfo López-Durán Lozano, 1929.

7.11.16

Programación de noviembre


Ese mes tuvimos muchísimas ideas. Octubre había sido
récord en despidos y separaciones
y ahora se desataba un ingenio imbatible:
cada día me esperaba alguien en el escritorio, chicos
que parecían salidos de un concurso de twist, con una explosión
de Red Bull en las pupilas y carpetas naranjas
donde se leía: “La expedición de Frank”, o
“Fuga en el restaurante persa”, o “Meteorología
para niños”. Paralelamente, mi desinterés por la creatividad
fue creciendo con mis vagabundeos al final de la tarde.
Una vez llegué hasta un río congelado, pasados los últimos barrios
del oeste -y pensé que podríamos
encontrarnos. ¿Me ibas a reprochar algo?
Hace años le habías dicho a mi madre
que estaba criando delincuentes:
viví con miedo de que la profecía se cumpliese, convencido
de que cualquiera de mis pasiones podía
causar una catástrofe bursátil. Así aprendí
a no desear, mirando a esos adolescentes de camisas a cuadros
vaciar sus rifles de aire comprimido contra una lata, como
si la amistad fuese un suburbio de Londres, y la fama,
una pestaña helada entrando en nuestras vidas.

*Pegboard Lawn Marker, Tamar Cohen (su web aquí), 2012.
*Programación de noviembre, incluido en Una premonición queer (Zindo & Gafuri, 2015), de Aníbal Cristobo. 

31.10.16

15.5.15

Vente a Alemania Pepe




¿Y la obra de Machado está vigente?

Acojona. Es la mirada de un hombre lúcido, honrado y honesto al que le tocó vivir un tiempo doloroso. Su figura también es la del maestro de escuela, el hombre cercano; y es terapéutico volver a Machado.

El otro día programaron 'La escopeta nacional' y parecía más actual que hace 35 años. ¿No hemos cambiado nada?

Yo hice 'Vente a Alemania Pepe' y ahora hemos hecho 'Perdiendo el Norte' y mi personaje es el mismo, el tipo que emigró y se quedó allí. Antes era una España “pobre, escuálida y beoda”, como decía Machado, con una maleta de cartón, y ahora el que llega a Alemania lleva un Ipad, viene del confort, y le toca servir salchichas. Esa es la gran putada, el espejismo del estado de bienestar, y de ahí la responsabilidad de la izquierda. Ha sido cómplice de este espejismo y ahora no hay una crisis, es una guerra sin tanques ni aviones pero hay muertos laborales, sociales, morales..., y no hay fuerza moral en la izquierda.

¿Podemos representa una alternativa? 

Hay que ser prudente. Yo no aplaudo a rabiar y a Monedero hay que darle un tirón de orejas, pero hay gente muy interesante como Manuela Carmena, y está demostrada la cochambre de los otros.

Y parece que los ciudadanos se interesan por la política, ¿o es sólo un espectáculo televisivo? 

No nos engañemos. Aquí hay niveles de culpabilidad pero inocentes hay muy pocos. Con todo lo que se sabe, muchos de estos van a volver a ser votados y aplaudidos, y será el momento de reconocer que somos un país de mierda. Pero parece que algo se mueve.

*Entrevista con José Sacristán. Saúl García. Diariodelanzarote.com. 15.05.15 (entrevista completa aquí)

10.5.15

Noventa y nueve iluminaciones


[Me pide que le regale un anillo.
Así cuando lo vea en su dedo, dice,
se acordará de mí, de mi magnificencia.
No lo haré. Así cuando no lo vea
se acordará de mí.]

*The pleasantries of the incredible Mulla Nasrudin. Idries Shah, 1968.
*Un anillo. Incluido en Noventa y nueve iluminaciones de Nasrudín. Jorge Gimeno, 2015.