Vanity Fea

The House of Rumour

domingo, 29 de septiembre de 2013

The House of Rumour

O la Red Social de la Información en el siglo catorce—la Internet medieval.
El poema alegórico de Chaucer The House of Fame concluye con un episodio en el que el poeta viaja, en su sueño, desde la Casa de la Fama a la Casa del Rumor, en busca de noticias, curiosidades y cotilleo. Esta Casa del Rumor, paraíso de la sobreinformación, de la fiebre por la actualidad, de la rumorología, y de la polilogia inabarcable, es pintada aquí de manera vívida y memorable. Aunque me parece que ha hallado su encarnación propia y definitiva en la red que nos ocupa ahora. Y de hecho Chaucer describe la Casa del Rumor como un laberinto reticular, una especie de gran maraña móvil hecha de mimbres enlazados, que rueda dando tumbos de aquí para allá, atravesada por vientos y susurros, una red inestable de voces e innovaciones. Por eso considero que Chaucer vio en su sueño ondas del futuro, que ya se sabe tiende a llevar a un extremo lo que en el pasado parecía exageración o parodia—los mentideros de palacio o de la City del siglo XIV se quedan chiquitos hoy, pero algo prometían ya. Aqui hay un pasaje sobre el recalentamiento de la información y los memes víricos que puede considerarse uno de los pasajes clásicos al respecto. La alegoría del Rumor, claro, tiene antecedentes al menos desde el libro IV de la Eneida.

But such a congregatioun
Of folk, as I saw roam about,
Some within and some without,
Was never seen, nor shall be eft,*                *again, hereafter
That, certes, in the world n' is* left                      *is not
So many formed by Nature,
Nor dead so many a creature,
That well unnethes* in that place                         *scarcely
Had I a foote breadth of space;
And ev'ry wight that I saw there
Rown'd* evereach in other's ear                          *whispered
A newe tiding privily,
Or elles told all openly
Right thus, and saide, "Know'st not thou
What is betid,* lo! righte now?"                          *happened
"No," quoth he; "telle me what."
And then he told him this and that,
And swore thereto, that it was sooth;
"Thus hath he said," and "Thus he do'th,"
And "Thus shall 't be," and "Thus heard I say
"That shall be found, that dare I lay;"*                     *wager
That all the folk that is alive
Have not the cunning to descrive*                         *describe
The thinges that I hearde there,
What aloud, and what in th'ear.
But all the wonder most was this;
When one had heard a thing, y-wis,
He came straight to another wight,
And gan him tellen anon right
The same tale that to him was told,
Or it a furlong way was old,
And gan somewhat for to eche*                             *eke, add
To this tiding in his speech,
More than it ever spoken was.
And not so soon departed n'as*                                 *was
He from him, than that he met
With the third; and *ere he let
Any stound,* he told him als';           *without delaying a momen*
Were the tidings true or false,
Yet would he tell it natheless,
And evermore with more increase
Than it was erst.* Thus north and south                   *at first
Went ev'ry tiding from mouth to mouth,
And that increasing evermo',
As fire is wont to *quick and go*        *become alive, and spread*
From a spark y-sprung amiss,
Till all a city burnt up is.
And when that it was full up-sprung,
And waxen* more on ev'ry tongue                          *increased
Than e'er it was, it went anon
Up to a window out to go'n;
Or, but it mighte thereout pass,
It gan creep out at some crevass,*                  *crevice, chink
And fly forth faste for the nonce.
And sometimes saw I there at once
*A leasing, and a sad sooth saw,*       *a falsehood and an earnest
That gan *of adventure* draw true saying* *by chance
Out at a window for to pace;
And when they metten in that place,
They were checked both the two,
And neither of them might out go;
For other so they gan *to crowd,*       *push, squeeze, each other*
Till each of them gan cryen loud,
"Let me go first!" -- "Nay, but let me!
And here I will ensure thee,
With vowes, if thou wilt do so,
That I shall never from thee go,
But be thine owen sworen brother!
We will us medle* each with other,                          *mingle
That no man, be he ne'er so wroth,
Shall have one of us two, but both
At ones, as *beside his leave,*                *despite his desire*
Come we at morning or at eve,
Be we cried or *still y-rowned."*               *quietly whispered*
Thus saw I false and sooth, compouned,*                 *compounded
Together fly for one tiding.
Then out at holes gan to wring*                  *squeeze, struggle
Every tiding straight to Fame;
And she gan give to each his name
After her disposition,
And gave them eke duration,
Some to wax and wane soon,
As doth the faire white moon;
And let them go. There might I see
Winged wonders full fast flee,
Twenty thousand in a rout,*                                *company
As Aeolus them blew about.
And, Lord! this House in alle times
Was full of shipmen and pilgrimes,
With *scrippes bretfull of leasings,*   *wallets brimful of falsehoods*
house of fame
Entremedled with tidings*                             *true stories
And eke alone by themselve.
And many thousand times twelve
Saw I eke of these pardoners,
Couriers, and eke messengers,
With boistes* crammed full of lies                           *boxes

As ever vessel was with lyes.*                        *lees of wine
And as I altherfaste* went                          *with all speed
About, and did all mine intent
Me *for to play and for to lear,*        *to amuse and instruct myself*

And eke a tiding for to hear
That I had heard of some country,
That shall not now be told for me; --
For it no need is, readily;
Folk can sing it better than I.
For all must out, or late or rath,*                           *soon
All the sheaves in the lath;*                            *barn
I heard a greate noise withal
In a corner of the hall,
Where men of love tidings told;
And I gan thitherward behold,
For I saw running ev'ry wight
As fast as that they hadde might,
And ev'reach cried, "What thing is that?"
And some said, "I know never what."
And when they were all on a heap,
Those behinde gan up leap,
And clomb* upon each other fast,                      *climbed
And up the noise on high they cast,
And trodden fast on others' heels,
And stamp'd, as men do after eels...

En este caos termina el poema de Chaucer, apenas sosegado por la visión inacabada de "un hombre de gran autoridad" con la que se interrumpe el poema. Aquí está el poema completo, y aquí unas referencias bibliográficas sobre el tema de la fama y del Rumor y sus precedentes en las fuentes de Chaucer. La ilustración viene de  sobre ediciones e ilustraciones de Chaucer. En la red.

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