Every time the United States attacked a country we saw demonstrations with powerless crowds protesting against the war. Now we know that the Russian is as crazy as the others believed that the current American president was, and we propose what we would do if we could return, like Superman, to change history.
There is a Spanish original Netflix series, The Ministry of Time, which in each episode goes back and wonders what would have happened if Spain had entered World War II, if Cervantes had not written Don Quixote or Julio Iglesias had not suffered a traffic accident that separated him from his career as a Real Madrid goalkeeper.
In literature this resource is called uchronia, it comes from the Greek, it means “non-existent time” because it speculates on a hypothetical reality to that which happened. A fork, a crossroads, the Greek i from which the rest of a chronicle that did not happen did not come from. It consists of going back to the intersection to consider what the present of a country could be like if an event had had a different outcome.
If we transfer that significant historical fact to our humble lives, surely they will find some moments that, if something casual and apparently of little relevance had not occurred, would have changed the course of their biography.
We -for example- would return to a casual meeting with a colleague, in Huesca, one summer morning in 1985. As when I got home I included Tarragona in an instance for a transfer contest, to that coincidence that passed by there, without a doubt My children owe their existence to him.
The musical The City of Stars (La La Land) shows us a masterful example. What was once a rude contempt turns into a passionate kiss that turns a sad story into a fairy tale with a happy ending.
In cinema, this resource is called flash-sideway, which means lateral (on the other hand). And although it is attributed to the film How beautiful it is to live (1946), the pioneer was a Spanish film, Life in a thread, from 1945: Mercedes meets a seer traveling by train to Madrid and tells her that there was a moment when that he could choose another man as a mate and live another life.
That moment to which history goes back to take another course is the Jonbar point that receives its name from the novel by the American writer Jack Williamson, The Legion of Time (1938).
From this point, Jonbar starts that alternative outcome, that non-existent time, which can become the joy of Thank God, or the lament of It couldn’t be. In Two lives in an instant (1998), losing or taking the subway leads the protagonist to discover or learn of an infidelity.
Would we be writing in French or reading in German if Spain had not defeated Napoleon or Hitler won World War II?
The question of whether you would go back to the past to return to the future and offer yourself an alternative present is disturbing. What is your point Jonbar? If at that moment we hadn’t passed each other on the street, if that person hadn’t been there when we got to the office, if we had put the blinker on the right instead of the left, or said no instead of yes, or vice versa.
A friend whom I have asked where she would return to has stayed one night. «I would go to that moment just to know what the lips of never in the mouth of always taste like».
Although it may be attractive to imagine yourself in a life with completely different circumstances, be careful with this quantum exercise of returning to the Jonbar point. First, because it is the stones of the path that forge destiny and you could be dead like Nino Bravo, at 28 years old.
In The City of Stars (La La Land) the story of the lovers is a drama, at this point in the tragedy your mood is already rock bottom, when the flash-sideway lifts your spirits by relieving the accumulated pain.
While the denouement wrapped in cotton candy arises, you free yourself from the trap of time and the slavery of the adverse destiny that is already written in the script. But, secondly, when reality returns and the false expectation vanishes, the fall that drags us to the inexorable colorín colorado is harder.
Searching for Jonbar points only serves to dream, which is not little and for nothing more. And perhaps to reflect on how many things we could have avoided seeing how others end. Would we have been different with the Russians if we knew that the Cold War would return and threaten us with the destruction of the world? Would we be writing in French or reading in German if Spain had not defeated Napoleon or Hitler won World War II?
In the Spanish series El Ministerio del tiempo the protagonists fight against old events, but not to create different ones, but so that History is exactly as it has been and in no other way.
The die is cast. Julio Iglesias must have felt very unlucky when he went off the road and the doctors believed that he would never walk again. A nurse named Eladio gave him a guitar to exercise his fingers, and he composed in bed that there is always something to live for and someone to love. Life goes on.