jueves, 4 de junio de 2009

El país de la canela, de William Ospina

Tres años después de “Ursúa”, llegó “El País de la Canela” (Grupo Editorial Norma, 2008), la segunda novela de William Ospina y la continuación de la saga que cuenta la sorprendente historia del descubrimiento del río Amazonas en la época de la Conquista española

“Fue en las terrazas saqueadas del Quzco donde Gonzalo Pizarro oyó por primera vez hablar del país de la Canela. Él tenía como todos la esperanza de que hubiera canela en el nuevo mundo, y cuando pudo dio a probar a los indios bebidas con canela, para ver si la reconocían. Un día, indios de la cordillera le contaron que al norte, más allá de los montes nevados de Quito, girando hacia el este por las montañas y descendiendo detrás de los riscos de hielo, había bosques que tenían canela en abundancia”.

“Cuando corrió la voz de que lo que nos esperaba tras las montañas no era un pequeño bosque sino todo un país de caneleros, el delirio dominó a los soldados. Todos creyeron, todos creímos a ciegas en el país de la Canela, porque alguien había contado que ese país existía y centenares de hombres necesitábamos que existiera”.

Tras la firme y osada decisión de viajar a Perú a reclamar una herencia que había sido usurpada a su padre por los Pizarro, el narrador de la segunda novela de Ospina, Cristóbal de Aguilar y Medina, se encuentra con Gonzalo Pizarro, que le promete pagar la deuda si lo acompaña a una expedición que intenta llegar a un supuesto país rico en árboles de canela.

Después de muchas aventuras los expedicionarios no encuentran lo que buscan, la canela de dicho país no sirve. Con sentimientos encontrados y dominado por la desilusión, Gonzalo Pizarro enloquece y ordena el asesinato de todos los indios que había arrastrado a la expedición.

Tras la sanguinaria orden, los expedicionarios deciden avanzar por la selva, controlados por el hambre y las dificultades, hasta que se encuentran cara a cara con su destino, el río Amazonas, única vía de escape de la selva y su última esperanza de vida.

Con anhelo, miedo y cansancio los hombres construyen un barco e inician una travesía de más de diez meses llena de sorpresas, con la que el escritor William Ospina vuelve a hacernos sentir las maravillas de ese territorio descubiertas y padecidas en ese entonces por la raza que algún momento nos dominó.

El autor


William Ospina nació en Padua, Tolima en 1954. Estudió derecho y ciencias políticas en Cali, pero abandonó la carrera para dedicarse a la literatura y al periodismo. Vivió en Europa entre 1979 y 1981, y desde su regreso vive en Bogotá.

En 1982 obtuvo el Premio nacional de Poesía del Instituto Colombiano de Cultura. Ha publicado siete libros de ensayos (Aurelio Arturo, 1991; Es tarde para el hombre, 1994; Esos extraños prófugos de Occidente, 1994; Los dones y los méritos, 1995; Un álgebra embrujada, 1996; ¿Dónde está la franja amarilla?, 1997; y Las auroras de sangre, 1999) y cuatro libros de poesía (Hilo de arena, 1986; La luna del dragón, 1992; El país del viento, 1992; ¿Con quién habla Virginia caminando hacia el agua?, 1995).

Es socio fundador de revista Número. En 2005 publicó Ursúa, su primera novela, que inaugura una trilogía sobre la Conquista de América y el hallazgo del río Amazonas.

El 4 de junio de 2009 fue anunciado ganador del Premio de Novela Rómulo Gallegos por “El país de la canela”.

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Estoy a punto de terminar el libro. Aparte de todo lo que he aprendido, me he deleitado profundamente con la historia y la forma de contarla. Aunque es un libro de gran erudición, no me ha cansado en ningun momento pues habla de una época y una parte de la Historia que me interesa muchísimo. La divisa literaria del narrador hablandole a Ursua es maravillosa y une las dos novelas de manera magistral. Espero ansiosa el tercer libro de la trilogia.

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