Contar

La gente relata sin cesar y narra sin darse ni siquiera cuenta de lo que está haciendo, de los incontrolables mecanismos de insidia, equívoco y caos que pone en marcha y que pueden resultar funestos, habla sin parar de los otros y de sí misma, y también de los otros al hablar de sí misma y también de sí misma al hablar de los otros.

Javier Marías, Tu rostro mañana I: Fiebre y Lanza.

Hablar por no callar

Se dice si va sola qué desgraciada es.
Se dice qué coqueta si con un hombre va.
Si ven a dos mujeres también se dice que el mundo está al revés.
La cosa es murmurar.
Eres muy buena si con arte sabes fingir.
Y eres muy mala si no sabes disimular.
Y con la verdad pretendes vivir.
Amar, yo quiero amar en libertad porque nací mujer para querer y hacer mi santa voluntad.
Amar sin escuchar el qué dirán pues todo es hablar, hablar por no callar.

I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

William Shakespeare, Sonnets and ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ en “The Oxford Shakespeare. The Complete Works.”

Cosas de familia

Was it all true? Yes. Yes, he had sworn in front of the children. Yes, he had forgotten to pick Em up from her after-school dance class and left her to cry in the rain. Yes, he’d had a public argument with Joe’s football coach and another dad had pulled him away. Yes, he’d come home drunk at five p.m. on Christmas Eve and slept until ten the following morning. Yes to a thousand other idiocies, forgettings, mistakes, and bad decisions. And anyway, he was pretty sure that his mother had heard these stories before. Many of them had been party pieces jokes told at his expense, sometimes by Elaine, sometimes by Charlie himself. Everybody laughed. That’s what family stories were-amusing accounts of the messes and fuckups. Take away the love and the laugher, narrate the stories as if the characters had acted with malice and self-absorption, and everybody was in a bleak independent film about alcoholism and schizophrenia and child abuse.

Nick Hornby, Everybody’s Reading Bastard.

the heaven that leads men to this hell

SONNET 129

Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

William Shakespeare, Sonnets and ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ en “The Oxford Shakespeare. The Complete Works.”

Ficción

And I mean that—everything is fiction. When you tell yourself the story of your life, the story of your day, you edit and rewrite and weave a narrative out of a collection of random experiences and events. Your conversations are fiction. Your friends and loved ones—they are characters you have created. And your arguments with them are like meetings with an editor—please, they beseech you, you beseech them, rewrite me. You have a perception of the way things are, and you impose it on your memory, and in this way you think, in the same way that I think, that you are living something that is describable. When of course, what we actually live, what we actually experience—with our senses and our nerves—is a vast, absurd, beautiful, ridiculous chaos.
So I love hearing from people who have no time for fiction.

Read more.

El conocimiento adquirido

Pues lo cierto es que el lector normal, aunque no conozca a los personajes de la noticia, creerá, aceptará, dará por descontado que un novio ha desnudado a su novia por considerar que su atuendo era demasiado osado. Seguramente no le importará en absoluto la identidad de ese novio, pero dará por supuestas su existencia y su actuación. Y aun cuando ese novio explique posteriormente que la noticia era falsa o un error, que le arrancó el vestido a su novia porque se le estaba quemando y corría el peligro de arder con él, será la primera versión la que, de manera consciente o inconsciente, deliberada o involuntaria, el lector guardará en su memoria o al menos en su imaginación. ¿Por qué? La razón a mi modo de ver, puede ser simple. Queremos que pasen cosas y nunca nos bastan, nuestro talante es eminentemente positivista y acumulativo, empírico y afirmativo, y difícilmente aceptamos algo (un hecho, un dato, una anécdota) que ha pasado a formar parte de nuestra “enciclopedia” pueda ser borrado como no existente o no acaecido. La anulación de lo que por un momento he sido, la reducción de nuestro saber (aunque sea imaginario, o conjetural, o inútil) resulta inadmisible para el hombre o mujer de fines del siglo XX. Si a la postre resulta que el novio no desnudó a su novia por atrevida, eso poco importa en realidad, pues pudo haber sucedido como se contó, y la mera posibilidad pasó ya a formar parte de nuestra imaginación, que por nada del mundo renunciará al conocimiento adquirido.

“Lo que no ocurre” en Pasiones pasadas, de Javier Marías.