10 de agosto de 2010

Tópico de cancer

Un buen día del mes de junio, Christopher Hitchens se encuentra promoviendo su memoria Hitch-22 (que, aprovechando el comercial, está muy bueno). Sus presentaciones son un éxito. Al día siguiente, le detectan cancer.

Ahora, en su más reciente colaboración con Vanity Fair (Septiembre 2010) el polemista británico, que recientemente adoptó la nacionalidad norteamericana, relata su encuentro con la enfermedad a la que llama una "nueva tierra" en donde todos sonríen y no parece haber racismo. La cocina, señala Hitchens, es la peor de cualquiera de los destinos que el ha visitado. Eso si, en este nuevo lugar, la manera en que algunos se presentan requiere que uno sea tolerante. Por ejemplo, en una ocasión, un oficial que no conocía y que nunca había visto introdujo abruptamente sus dedos en su garganta. De esa manera supo que el cancer se había extendido a su clavícula.

El párrafo anterior es una adaptación del texto que aparece en Vanity Fair:

... The new land is quite welcoming in its way. Everybody smiles encouragingly and there appears to be absolutely no racism. A generally egalitarian spirit prevails, and those who run the place have obviously got where they are on merit and hard work. As against that, the humor is a touch feeble and repetitive, there seems to be almost no talk of sex, and the cuisine is the worst of any destination I have ever visited. The country has a language of its own—a lingua franca that manages to be both dull and difficult and that contains names like ondansetron, for anti-nausea medication—as well as some unsettling gestures that require a bit of getting used to. For example, an official met for the first time may abruptly sink his fingers into your neck. That’s how I discovered that my cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, and that one of these deformed beautieslocated on my right clavicle, or collarbonewas big enough to be seen and felt. It’s not at all good when your cancer is “palpable” from the outside. Especially when, as at this stage, they didn’t even know where the primary source was. Carcinoma works cunningly from the inside out. Detection and treatment often work more slowly and gropingly, from the outside in. Many needles were sunk into my clavicle area—“Tissue is the issuebeing a hot slogan in the local Tumorville tongueand I was told the biopsy results might take a week.


Aquí el texto completo.

Fiel a su costumbre, Hitchens es preciso con las palabras y las metáforas.

... I feel upsettingly de-natured. If Penélope Cruz were one of my nurses, I wouldn’t even notice. In the war against Thanatos, if we must term it a war, the immediate loss of Eros is a huge initial sacrifice.


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