Hamlet Essay

4854 words - 19 pages

Shakespeare en la selva Texto extraído de Lecturas de antropología social y cultural. La cultura y las culturas de Honorio M.
Velasco (Comp.), Cuadernos de la UNED. (http://textosdeantropologia.blogspot.com/2008/09/shakespeare-en-la-selva.html)
Shakespeare en la selva, por Laura Bohannan (Laura Bohannan, Shakeaspeare in the bush,Natural History, August-September, 1966)
Justo antes de partir de Oxford hacia territorio Tiv, en África Occidental, mantuve una conversación en torno a la programación de la temporada en Stratford. "Vosotros los americanos", dijo un amigo, "soléis tener problemas con Shakespeare. Después de todo, era un poeta muy inglés, y uno puede fácilmente malinterpretar lo universal cuando no ha entendido lo particular".
Yo repliqué que la naturaleza humana es bastante similar en todo el mundo; al menos, la trama y los temas de las grandes tragedias resultarían siempre claros - en todas partes -, aunque acaso algunos detalles relacionados con costumbres determinadas tuvieran que ser explicados y las dificultades de traducción pudieran provocar algunos leves cambios. Con el ánimo de cerrar una discusión que no había posibilidad de concluir, mi amigo me regaló un ejemplar de Hamlet para que lo estudiara en la selva africana: me ayudaría, según él, a elevarme mentalmente sobre el entorno primitivo, y quizá, por vía de la prolongada meditación, alcanzara yo la gracia de su interpretación correcta.
Era mi segundo viaje de campo a esa tribu africana, y me encontraba dispuesta para establecerme en una de las zonas más remotas de su territorio - un área difícil de cruzar incluso a pie. Al final me situé en una colina que pertenecía a un anciano venerable, cabeza de una explotación doméstica de unas ciento cuarenta personas, todos ellos parientes próximos de él, o bien mujeres e hijos suyos. Al igual que otros ancianos en los alrededores, pasaba la mayor parte de su tiempo ejecutando ceremonias de las que apenas pueden verse hoy día en zonas de la tribu que son de más fácil acceso. Yo estaba encantada. Pronto vendrían tres meses de ocio y aislamiento forzosos, entre la cosecha que tiene lugar antes de la época de las crecidas y el desbroce de nuevos campos tras la retirada de las aguas. Entonces, pensaba yo, tendrían más tiempo para ejecutar ceremonias y para explicármelas a mí.
Estaba muy equivocada. La mayoría de las ceremonias exigía la presencia de los hombres más viejos de varios poblados. Cuando las inundaciones comenzaron, a los ancianos les resultaba demasiado difícil ir caminando de un poblado a otro, y las ceremonias fueron cesando poco a poco. Cuando las inundaciones se hicieron intensas, toda actividad quedó...

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