A Patria le sobran 200 páginas

Acabé de leerme la excelente novela Patria, de Fernando Aramburu, sólo después de saltarme gran parte de la segunda mitad de la narración, que añade poco o nada a la historia.

No entiendo muy bien por qué Aramburu pensó que tenía que contarnos cada cuita de Xabier o describir cada novio de Nerea, en una novela que trata sobre el impacto del conflicto vasco: la gente que no ha tenido ni recibido ningún impacto del conflicto también tiene cuitas y novios o novias, oiga.

De las 648 páginas, se podrían haber cortado 200, sin ningún problema y sin quitar nada relevante a la trama. Calculo que en esas 648 páginas debe haber unas 300.000 palabras, para narrar la historia (reciente) de dos familias. Esto es, por supuesto, un problema común en la narrativa en español: siempre he pensado que debajo de Ultimas Tardes con Teresa, de Juan Marsé, hay una gran novela sofocada por unas 50.000 palabras de relleno.

El otro día encontré una lista, en Reddit, que copio aquí abajo para que se vea cuántas palabras tienen, en inglés, varias novelas célebres. En español, por la diferente naturaleza de los idiomas, tendrían alguna más (pongamos 55.000 o 60.000 para El Gran Gatsby en lugar de 47.000 en inglés), pero la lista es indicativa:

Literary Fiction

  • The Old Man and the Sea 27,000
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – 28,000
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell – 29,000
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – 30,000
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 47,000
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – 49,000
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – 50,000
  • The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison – 52,000
  • Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck – 55,000
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner – 57,000
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy – 59,000
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding – 60,000
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Huston – 64,000
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – 68,000
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain – 68,000
  • Exit Ghost by Philip Roth – 68,000
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – 70,000
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – 73,000
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 80,000
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – 83,000
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison – 95,000
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – 96,000
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner – 97,000
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 99,000
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – 104,000
  • Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 104,000
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – 106,000
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – 107,000
  • One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey – 108,000
  • The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 122,000
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan – 123,000
  • The Plot Against America by Philip Roth – 130,000
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – 135,000
  • The Human Stain by Philip Roth – 137,000
  • Light in August by William Faulkner – 151,000
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens – 156,000
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith – 169,000
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – 169,000
  • We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates – 172,000
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway – 174,000
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – 174,000
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – 183,000
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – 195,000
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – 197,000
  • Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson – 208,000
  • Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie – 209,000
  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – 210,000
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon – 216,000
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck – 225,000
  • The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow – 248,000
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens – 339,000
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 418,000

Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – 36,000
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – 46,000
  • I, Robot by Isaac Asimov – 69,000
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker – 73,000
  • 1984 by George Orwell – 89,000
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – 95,000
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – 101,000
  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien – 116,000
  • World War Z by Max Brooks – 117,000
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – 177,000
  • A Game of Thrones (only book one) by George R.R. Martin – 293,000
  • The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis – 294,000
  • The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins – 302,000
  • His Dark Materials (trilogy) by Philip Pullman – 329,000
  • Lord of the Rings (trilogy) by J.R.R. Tolkien – 455,000
  • Harry Potter (seven-book series) by J.K. Rowling – 1,002,000

About David Roman

Communicator. I tweet @dromanber.
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