Consideraciones Teóricas. El Monomito (II).


Bien, antes de empezar con las etapas del viaje, habrá que presentar la idea general.

La idea (porque es una idea, NO una fórmula) es que todos los mitos, los cuentos de hadas, los sueños, las leyendas… tienen, universalmente, varios elementos estructurales comunes. Algunos de estos elementos comunes, especialmente significativos y especialmente universales, siguen funcionando en la narrativa contemporánea. ¿Por qué? Bueno, según Campbell, son sistemas simbólicos, creaciones naturales de la mente humana. El inconsciente colectivo de Jung. Según los seguidores de Campbell, la sociedad occidental ha desacreditado los viejos sistemas mitológicos que resolvían los dilemas a los que se enfrenta el individuo en sociedad y busca su propio sistema. Pero no se puede “evitar”, digamos, conservar la esencia de algunos de los viejos códigos. ¿Y eso? Porque son creaciones naturales de la mente humana. O sea que, según ellos, ocurre porque no puede ser de otra manera.

Kill Bill

Kill Bill

La idea es pensar en la historia como si fuese un viaje en el que el héroe protagonista busca o huye de alguna cosa. Un ejemplo típico es el rito iniciático. Digamos que el niño empieza a notar que está cambiando. Pronto la situación se hace evidente y, a pesar de sus reticencias, llega el día en que el niño tiene que abandonar la seguridad del poblado, un mundo cuyas reglas, costumbres, lógica, habitantes… comprende y conoce bien. Tiene que emprender un viaje. Adentrarse en la selva y no sé… y matar a un ñu (o encontrar un pozo, o huir porque otra tribu ha arrasado la suya…). Después puede regresar al poblado como un guerrero, miembro de pleno derecho de la tribu. El viaje, la experiencia, le ha cambiado de manera profunda e irreversible. El héroe vuelve pero vuelve distinto.

Esto no quiere decir que la historia tenga que ser un viaje en sentido literal. Muchas historias cuentan el viaje mismo, desde El Quijote hasta Kill Bill. En el Camino es un ejemplo evidente hasta en el título. Otras veces, el personaje encuentra trabajo en otra ciudad y coge un avión, de forma que la historia no cuenta el viaje, sino su estancia en el nuevo y extraño lugar, como en Atrapado en el Tiempo.

También te puede pillar un tornado y te despiertas en Oz y se trata del viaje a otro mundo tan típico de la narrativa infantil: te caes por una madriguera persiguiendo un conejo y te despiertas en El País de las Maravillas. Entras a un armario y apareces en Narnia. El viaje de Chihiro, El Laberinto del Fauno. También se puede contar un viaje sin moverse en el espacio pero sí en el tiempo, como en Regreso al Futuro. O puede ser un viaje por tu propio cerebro, como en The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Pero, la mayoría de las veces, el viaje es simbólico. El personaje no se mueve del sitio: el que se mueve es el sitio, el entorno, las circunstancias, el interior mismo del héroe. De otra manera: el viaje representa el conflicto, forma parte de él. Como contaba en el post Sentir el sentido, cualquier persona enfrentada a un conflicto es alguien que no sabe (o que no puede saberlo todo) y el mundo se convierte en un lugar fragmentado, desordenado, antitético. Impredecible. Las cosas se redimensionan, no podemos calibrar su importancia, no se está seguro de qué camino seguir. Se abren demasiadas posibilidades. El personaje se puede pasar toda la historia metido en su habitación (aunque no es recomendable), pero debido al conflicto, es el mundo el que ha cambiado a su alrededor, como cuando conoces a una chica. O te despiden, o te despides. O secuestran a tu hermano. Un accidente. Cualquier cosa que desequilibre la vida del héroe.

Así que nuestro niño-héroe, abandona la seguridad del poblado, su Mundo Cotidiano, se adentra en la selva, un Mundo Mítico. En el proceso, el héroe encontrará otros personajes, aliados o enemigos. Se enfrentará a las fuerzas antagonistas, buscará al ñu y lucharán a muerte. Morirá el ñu, porque es bien sabido que a los ñus se los come todo el mundo. Después, el viaje de vuelta hacia el poblado con la cornamenta como trofeo. O no. Los finales felices y cerrados no son obligatorios.

El caso es que, según esta teoría, desde las primeras escenas del chaval jugando en el río de su Mundo Cotidiano, hasta su vuelta después de atravesar el Mundo Mítico de la selva (para bien o para mal), el héroe (1) pasará por una serie de etapas muy características y (2) encontrará a personajes que representarán un papel arquetípico (el mentor, la sombra…) de la misma forma que el héroe (o el anti-héroe) representa también un papel arquetípico.

Lo interesante no es memorizar si el viaje tiene 7 etapas o 17, ni el orden en el que suceden, ni si tal personaje tiene que aparecer en tal zona de la narración. En mi opinión, utilizar cualquier teoría de forma rígida y sistemática suele construir una ficción predecible y aburrida. De cartón piedra. Lo interesante es entender las ideas que propone, criticarlas mucho, procesar las conclusiones y luego recrearlas con nuestra propia mirada.

Un par de cosas más: ni los personajes tienen que representar siempre el mismo arquetipo, ni cada etapa corresponde a una única escena o a un determinado pasaje. Una etapa puede estar reflejada en una escena, en varias (secuencia). En un pasaje o en varios. Puede ser un capítulo entero, pero también un diálogo o una descripción… El Mentor puede convertirse en Sombra. El Guardián en Aliado, étc.

Este finde la primera etapa. Ciao.

  1. #1 by joe on 28/Jul/2010

    Parece como si estuviera ya todo trillado. Si estuviera intentando escribir una novela, lo que me pide el cuerpo es huir en dirección contraria ahora mismo… Saltarme todas las reglas. Olvidar todo lo que he leído.

  2. #2 by especialista on 1/Ago/2010

    Si, la verdad es que suena como si fuera una receta de cocina, a la que luego cada uno le da su toque personal, pero cuyos ingredientes básicos son obligatorios.

  3. #3 by BB on 3/Ago/2010

    “Lo interesante es entender las ideas que propone, criticarlas mucho, procesar las conclusiones y luego recrearlas con nuestra propia mirada.” No, si al final me voy a tener que apuntar a tus clases..

  4. #4 by Zalmoxis on 3/Sep/2010

    Joe,

    Yo creo que para saltarse las reglas hay que haberlas interiorizado primero. Y en realidad nunca te las saltas todas a la vez, porque entonces no habría nada (a veces sólo se produce una apariencia de saltarse reglas).

    Uno no puede levantarse una mañana, agarrar una guitarra por primera vez en la vida y revolucionar la historia de la música. No sabremos si llegará a revolucionar nada, pero antes de producir la más mínima innovación creativa, deberá aprender de modo más o menos sistemático o reglado escalas, acordes, armonía, ritmo y deberá desarrollar una cierta calistenia. A partir de ahí y no de la nada, puede romper conscientemente una regla determinada para evitar el encorsetamiento. Pero primero hay que aprender la técnica.

    Esto en música se entiende bien. Sin embargo, para cantar, hacer teatro o escribir parece que el talento tendría que florecer naturalmente sin ninguna regla. Y es mentira. Siempre hay un aprendizaje técnico, aunque no sea reglado y sistemático y se adquiera por ósmosis.

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