Magia y enfermedad / Adriano González León

Magic and Illness

It was a robust encounter. Between two youths standing firmly in a high school hallway, both of them with an inner vision prouder than any learned in books. We came from two extreme regions of the country. There were many jungles and many rivers behind him. There were many mountains and much fog behind me. We almost embodied the country from the southern edge to the western one. I say these regionalist things because we Venezuelans were accustomed to dividing ourselves by geography. I think these limited judgments are still employed. Fortunately the caudillos, the cheap anecdotes about people from the western regions, the Andes or the plains have been abandoned, although climates, witchcraft, traditions and visions haven’t ceased to condition the appearance of particular ghosts. But this isn’t the case in anecdotal instances or the fleeting definitions still practiced by fools in conversations at home or on bar stools.

A character, a passion, a being and appearance continue to be, among philosophers and sociologists, difficult matters to resolve. Perhaps no one was more intricate in their creative process, among our generation, than Jesús Sanoja Hernández, who departed towards infinity without leaving us the transparent clues and intricate exploits of his noble heart. The testimonies of his journalistic writing and the search within his historical essays remain, clear and substantial for the understanding and honor of thoughtful people. They are the true example of one of his facets and the most eloquent proof of that is the photograph where he appears beneath a tumult of books, a veritable Orinoco river wisely explored by his sensibility and sagacious intelligence.

But it’s so difficult to track his creative mystery. How proud and occult, full of symbols and mysteries, is his poetry. Never has a more accurate title (La mágica enfermedad) been chosen to precisely name things, places, uncertainties, apparitions and revelations. Luis Alberto Crespo, in a lucid commentary, says that La mágica enfermedad [The Magical Illness] is our Holy Grail. We will be seeking it permanently along with an explanation for its author’s poetic silence. Something in a text titled “Ahogado” [Drowned] would seem to allow a search, disorganized nature, a death, the play of a double, the family and a journey into infinity. Listen: “Galloping, with Jesus in my hands, and space begins to flower. He is headed toward Yuruán, your son, incessant like last night’s vision, sheltered in the river that drags palms and corozos, almonds and blue plants, irrigating brilliant plains behind the mountain. They are fruits, they are snakes, and your son climbs, your son and the three roses.”

So then, amid our laments, it’s time to ask him though there be no answer… It’s best we don’t… That way we’ll continue to follow his resplendent enigma.

{ Adriano González León, El Nacional, 14 June 2007 }

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