El Túnel

ISBN: 9507313818
ISBN 13: 9789507313813
By: Ernesto Sabato

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About this book

El narrador describe una historia de amor y muerte en la que muestra la soledad del individuo contemporáneo. No están ausentes de esta trama policial y de suspenso, la locura y la increíble reflexión del protagonista, el pintor Juan Pablo Castel, debatiéndose por comprender las causas que lo arrastraron a matar a la mujer que amaba, María Iribarne, y que era su única vía de salvación.En este alucinante drama de la vida interior, seres intricados en la bestial búsqueda de comprensión ceden a la mentira, la hipocresía y los celos desmedidos hasta el crimen más inexplicable. Aventura amorosa, aventura onírica, aventura del ser que dan testimonio de un asesinato, de cierta memoria culpable y de una valiente introspección.

Reader's Thoughts

Iván Leija

Decepcionado, solitario, tímido, exagerado, violento, visiblemente alterado; sin mujer, ni hijos, ni hermanos, ni buenos amigos; con una madre que ha muerto y un padre que no tuvo ni la importancia suficiente como para siquiera ser mencionado en la novela. ¿Cómo sería alguien que descubre que la vida no es más que un túnel con paredes sucias y ocasionales ventanas donde no hay rastro de luz verdadera sino hasta el final del mismo? Quizá sería como un Extranjero, como un señor Meuersault: desubicado, desprovisto de algún sentido social, ajeno a las concepciones superficiales de las personas normales.Ahora, ¿qué pasa cuando Castel (o cualquiera que se sienta como él) encuentra en la vida a alguien supuestamente semejante? No puedo evitar sentir una compasión muy fuerte hacia el protagonista. Me enternece ver cómo nunca pudo establecer una buena relación con María, y cómo, sin embargo, se aferraba a ella como si fuese la única forma de salir de su "insalvable soledad". El título de la novela es la metáfora principal, dijo una vez Sabato; y es cierto, perfectamente demostrado en esta obra. El capítulo XXXVI, donde Castel describe su túnel, es hermoso y expone claramente cómo se siente: cómo él se imaginaba que María era una persona solitaria igual a él. Lo de las ventanas transparentes por donde ellos se observan es igual de significante.

Fatema Hassan , bahrain

مزعجة هي الإفتتاحيات التي تعتقلك وتلقي بك خلف قضبان التوقع مهما حاولت التملص من أصفادها ، تشعرك بأنه لا حق لك بالتمختر نحو نهاية لا نهائية كالعالم المجهول وراء نافذة خوان بابلو الرسام ، وقد ينالك الخزي لعدم استعراض عضلاتك التخمينية و هنا اعتقلتني هذه الإفتتاحية (سأكتفي بالقول إني خوان بابلوكاستيل ، الرّسام الذي قتل ماريا ايربيارني ) يكفيني هذا القول حتى لا أعيد سؤال من صنف : من أنت ؟ وماذا فعلت ؟ ( كان هناك شخص واحديمكنه أن يفهمني ، لكنه كان بالتأكيد ، الشخص الذي قتلته )بين الرّسام والمتلقي " المتذوق الفني " علاقة محيرة تستقطب عدة انفعالات لاشعورية ، فالرسامون عادة ينعتون العيان أو العامة بالأمية الفنية لحين يبزغ المتذوق الذي يشاركهم النظرة الروحية لمحسوسات لوحاتهم و يستشف مضامينها و حينها يلعب الزهو بما يملكون دور المتملق للإحاطة بشمولية وعمق الفكرة التي وصلت للمتذوق و مطابقتها مع خاصتهم و مقارنة الشعورللمتذوق ب اللاشعور الذي نجم عنه كل هذا الفيض و الذي لربما كانوا يجهلون جزئية كبيرة منه ولكن لايهم ما دامو لا يفهمونه تماماً لا يحق لأحد فهمه تماماً ، الأهم أن تشخيصات هذا المتلقي لمنجزات الرسام الفنية و تحليلاته قربته لأعينهم من العدم بشكل مباغت و شكلت رابط غير ذي مغزى محدد سيشكل هاجس لدى الفنان و المتذوق قد تصل لحد الإيذاء لحنق فك الشيفرة الفنية و تقمص دور العصا السحرية المحركة لمكان الأشياء و تفسير سلوك الآخر ( المتذوق ) على حسب هوى الأول ( الرسام ) و زرع منظوره الخاص في كل ما سيشهده من تصرفاته لتضييق خناق اللعبة و هنا يصبح كمن يحرك شريكه في هذه اللعبة ، و أي لعبة عادلة ستكون تلك التي تكون طرفيّها لوحدك؟في معرض الربيع لعام ١٩٤٦يعرض الوسام خوان بابلو كاستيل لوحاته ومن ضمنها لوحته التي أسماها " أمومة " و في يسارها الأعلى مشهد جانبي لنافذة تطل على شاطئ منعزل و امرأة تنظر للبحر وكأنها تترقب نداءًا خفيًا من المجهول ، تجاهل الكثير من المارين على حدود تلك اللوحة ذلك المتنفس المكتوم الأنفاس ولكن ماريا هي من استوقفها ذلك النداء من مجهول ما وراء النافذة لتبدأ رحلة المطاردة من قبل خوان بابلو لماريا ضحيته ، من خلال علاقة المطاردة و والتملك يبدو جليًا عنف خوان بابلو كشريك في علاقة قائمة على تحليله الذاتي الذي ينهش الشك أساساته ، كما تسهل سلبية الشريك الآخر العملية لتتوالد المزيد من الشكوك و الإدلة الفردية التي لا تمت بالواقع بصلة فكلها خيالات نمت في ذهن الرسام على الارجح لم تقاومها ماريا لم تدحض أو تفند شكوكه جعلته يسترسل في هذيانه دون رادع و هذا غير متوقع من الحقيقة ولكنه مستساغ للشخصيات الوهمية ( الشماعة ) التي نعلق عليها عجزنا و قلة حيلتنا عن التحليل العقلاني ، إذاً هكذا نصدق شكوكنا ونحرك شريكنا في اللعبة وفق مبتغانا فهو عاشق تارة و خائن تارة و ملتوٍ تارة و مسخوط عليه تارة . هو العجز عن فهمنا و القزم الذي لا يمكنه منازلة مقدرتنا و إن كان الكمال أو جزء منه .الصورة هي النافذة من عالمنا المعاش لعالم مجهول و لا تحتاج نافذة الرسام في جميع الحالات لتكون أحجية يجب حلها ، ما رأته ماريا و ما رآه خوان أخافهما فحياتها تنتهي خلف النافذة و حياته تظل مأسورة بدم ضحيته خلف تلك النافذة ، جمعهما قدرهما المتخاصم و كانت المصالحة في فهم علاقتهما كقاتل وضحيته في عالم مجهول خلف نافذة الرسام العصية على التأويل ، الجميل أن ما وراء النافذة رغم كونه ثنائي الأبعاد يبقى محصوراً في خانة الما وراء .. فحين نقيم الصورة من عالمنا نرنو لعالم خيالي مجهول ما وراء تلك النافذة ونعلم أن المجهول يراقبنا من وراءها على حد سواء . نبرة النص ذكورية و صوت شخوصها موحش و النفق الحقيقي هو منظورنا المعتم و السلبي للحياة ذلك ما يقيدنا حقًا ،، قم بترقيق جدران نفقك .. فما وراء النفق نوافذ أخرى تستحق التأمل .

Lucas

Tengo la impresión que este libro es quizás para el mundo hispanohablante el equivalente de lo que es "El Guardian Entre El Centeno" para nosotros, los inglés hablantes, es decir, típicamente es leído en la adolescencia, y a ello se debe (en parte) su lugar dentro de la cultura. Con la diferencia, obviamente, de que el protagonista NO es adolescente, como el de "El Guardian..." y de repente por eso me parecía un tanto patético. Al principio de la narración, me pude identificar con el narrador, Juan Pablo Castel, con las vueltas que daba a cada cosa en su cabeza, pero a medida que fue avanzando la trama, o sea, el descenso a la locura de Castel, más que parecer realista o cualquier otra cosa, hizo que ya no me importara lo que pudiera pasarle por que me cansé de acompañarlo en todos sus tangentes. El libro es suficientemente agradable y se puede terminarlo en un par de días a lo más. La metáfora del túnel si me parecía interesante, pero surgió muy tarde, después de que ya había dejado de importarme mucho el destino que le esperaba a Castel.

Talrubei

One of the first things I did after coming back home from my summer trip, is grabbing Ernesto Sabato's Tunnel for the second time. I had first read it in early 2008. It was in my head throughout the summer. I felt that I have missed the book and I need to re-read it. By it, I mean its mood, its characters, its amiable yet aggressive narrative style. The Tunnel is simply a great novella. It talks about one of the main reasons behind literary production: human loneliness and the search for a connection with the eternal. The main character is a painter, Juan Pablo Castel, who gets obsessed with one of his gallery's visitors, Maria. This obsession with Maria takes up most of the pages and is tiring for us readers, yet so intense that it becomes contagious. Life or existence to Juan Pablo is like Maria, and he doesn't seem to understand it. In one instant he is laying his head on her lap by the shore "like a baby." In another, he is violently grabbing her arm to get her to confess about something that his doubt created. And, finally, in another instance he murders her. (dont worry this is not a spoiler, it is actually the first line of this book.)This crazy relationship and this obsession is all in Juan Pablo's head and heart and in his confusion. It is the tunnel that he has created or was born into. A tunnel that is parallel to everything and never seems to intersect with anything but his loneliness. With all this being said, the main attraction of the novella, for me, is its impeccable enthusiasm. Imagine, for example, Albert Camus' The Stranger, Meursault, but with all the enthusiasm. I can say that Sabato's Juan Pablo Castel is Camus' Meursault but in the opposite direction, with an overdose of enthusiasm towards his loneliness and confusion instead of Meursault's lethal apathy. After reading this book for the second time, I feel energized, enthusiastic, and in the same time melancholic. The exact feelings that I wanted to remind myself of.

Manuel Sanz

Juan Pablo Castel, protagonista y narrador. Asesino de María Iribarne. En la primera línea, en el primer párrafo todo queda dicho. No hay misterio. Luego todo el proceso es contado por el protagonista. Su mundo interior, su conciencia de la nada, su incomprensión, como ser humano y como pintor. Sus pinturas no son bien analizadas por el público ni por la crítica. Entonces aparece María, y ve en el lienzo lo que no a visto nadie. El pintor ve en ella la comprensión que no ha tenido en su vida. y ella se siente unida a él a través de su obra. La novela es de fácil lectura y de difícil análisis. Toda ella esta llena de desesperanza e incomunicación. El protagonista odia profundamente a la humanidad. Y cuando encuentra a una persona que comprende su arte y por lo tanto le comprende a él la mata. Pone fin a la escasa esperanza que había, si es que había alguna; porque María no llega a entregarse nunca del todo a Juan Pablo, Sin que este claro el motivo: su matrimonio, su "posible" relación con otra persona.

Erica Verrillo

The Tunnel falls into the category of existentialist literature, such as The Stranger and No Exit. Like other works in its genre it touches on the futility of existence, the essential isolation of the individual, and profound social anomie. The Tunnel, however, stands apart from the European works in that it treats the disintegration of the individual - rather than of society - through the guise of obsessional love.The main character, an artist who not only hates other artists, but all the trappings that surround the artistic community, falls in love with the one person who appears to understand his paintings, i.e. who appears to understand him. This awareness comes from a brief glimpse of a bewitching young woman in an art show, without a word being spoken between them. The fact that he does not know who she is does not deter him. He must somehow find her again, and he goes about discovering her identity in a series of awkward, adolescent efforts that make the reader cringe. The pursuit of the painter's obsession brings him to loathe the object of his adoration, even as he loathes himself. Eventually, the obsession ends as all obsessions must - and as the readers all know it must, for the artist announces the ultimate end of the affair in his first sentence.What I enjoyed most about this book was its quintessential Argentinian flavor. I read it in the original language, which, of course, lends depth and breadth to every work. The cadences, the subtleties, and above all, that strange, morose Argentinian humor came shining through. Once again, I was impressed with the fluency with which Latin American writers capture the written word, effortlessly transforming it into feeling and state of mind. Sabato, in this regard, excels, for even in a work that epitomizes the meaning of "dramatic irony," the chilling, but inevitable conclusion of this remarkable tale packs a whallop that you will feel long after you have emerged from The Tunnel.

Olivia Z

The Tunnel is frightening in many ways, but one more so than the others. When getting to take a peak into a murderer's mind, letting him tell you all about his thoughts and longings, you might stumble onto your own psyche. His actions are absurd and foreign, and his conclusions are, of course, extreme, but in their core, the thoughts themselves are perhaps all too familiar. There is the complex balancing between loathing humanity and almost worshipping another person, a burning anxiety of being like those he rejects, and most of all, loneliness. A torturing loneliness, one which Castel describes as "olympic", almost with pride, but which quickly shines through as hurting and confusing. The world to Castel is despicable, but he realises that he is still part of it, and that he can't tear himself away from living and thinking within it. And isn't this the greatest paradox many of us carry? These are not just the thoughts of a murderer and a psychopath, and finding pieces of Castel in your own mind is disquieting to say the least. In this way, The Tunnel is very much a psychological piece. I would actually have wished that it was a little bit longer, just to flesh out Castel's character a little more. It definitely leaves me wanting more, and has made me really curious about Sabato's other works. However, the writing in itself left me feeling distant, almost alienated. After looking around a bit, I think it is the particular translation I read that is to blame. The one I have is a Swedish translation by Peter Landelius, and really can't give The Tunnel more than three stars until I've read a more decent translation, because this one really bothered me. Reading extracts from English translations, I noticed that there are huge differences in tone. The Swedish one feels as if the translator have simply translated the original word for word, without consideration for the different layers of the original writing. Since Sabato's work definitely deserves a better chance, I will update this review when I've managed to get a hold of a better translation, preferably in English.

Alex

Nadando en la soledad y en la desesperanza, Juan Pablo Castel inicia una enfermiza relación con María Iribarne, una enigmática figura que deambula en un mundo lleno de lujuria, dolor, misterio y secretos.No sólo éso, es también la historia de cómo termina por matarla, y al hacer ésto, mata una parte de sí mismo.Novela inequívocamente autobiográfica (andando con zapatos de ficción) que me recuerda episodios personales, rostros y momentos.Es la historia para todo hombre enamorado de una mujer de ésas que consumen el alma.

Lukasz Pruski

Ernesto Sabato's "The Tunnel" (1948) is an intense, dark, psychological novella that portrays, with clinical accuracy, one man's obsessive love for a woman (I am not using the term 'obsessive love' just as a characterization but rather as a psychological syndrome). The obsession leads the man to killing the woman, which we learn in the very first sentence.During an exhibition of his paintings in Buenos Aires, Juan Pablo Castel, a highly respected artist, notices that a woman looking at one of his works focuses on a small fragment of the picture, which he himself, unlike critics and other people, considers most important. Juan Castel's overactive mind instantaneously manufactures a strong bond between himself and the woman. He is shattered when the woman disappears, and for several months he only thinks about her. When he sees her again on the street, he begins stalking her. Then, in an unforgettable scene, he manages to engage the woman, named Maria, in a conversation.Juan Castel is utterly selfish; he despises other people and he frequently despises Maria, even if he thinks she is the only person in the world who can understand him. He constantly analyzes events, words, moods, and facial expressions, interpreting them in a way that suits him the best at the given moment. He thinks his reasoning is logical, but most of the time the volatile train of his thoughts deludes him into alternating between feeling happiness and despair.Juan wants to possess Maria completely and totally. Even more than the physical relationship, he desires to control her mind, to make sure that she deeply loves him, and that her manifestations of love are authentic. He will not be happy until she becomes exactly like the vision of Maria that he has created. When he eventually realizes that while he lives inside a dark and lonely tunnel where he has spent his entire life, Maria lives in the freedom of the outside world and will not focus solely on him, he has no choice other than punishing her for his loneliness.Mr. Sabato's writing is taut, economical, and precise (I have read the book in a good, non-English translation). It reminds me a little of J.M. Coetzee's style, which may be due to their similar backgrounds (Sabato had a Ph.D. in physics and Coetzee has a B.A. in mathematics and also a Ph.D. in linguistics). I am not sure what I love more about "The Tunnel" - the insightful observations of human psychology or the wonderfully tight writing. I find one passage jarring though; the author has included a superfluous six-page conversation about mystery books, which in my view breaks the precise rhythm of the narration.Four and a half stars.

Harold

Poor Maria Iribarne. We know she is doomed from the first page. This is a short, fascinating, first person look into the mind of a murderer and how his paranoia leads him to commit a crime of passion. It is remarkable for how well Sabato brings us into Juan Pablo Castel's mind and logic. The book is not without it's own humor. There is driveby reference to Borges on page 94 of the edition I read. Hunter and Mimi, two incidental characters, are discussing detective stories and Hunter says he is unimpressed by the Seventh Circle. Mimi replies she is going to "tell Georgie" what he said.

Luka Antonić

I don't think the comments that El túnel is just another existentialist novel are justified. Yes, it is existentialist, at some moments maybe even orthodoxically. But this is in fact a contradictory statement, since existentialism has become (has it ever been anything else?) more a general view, rather than defined philosophical position. There are some sentences non metaphorically commenting on meaninglessness of Universe and existence in it. But it is also a novel about obsession, about artist's journey to find absolute, and its inaccessibility to the rational mind. The allegory about painter's tunnel from epigraph is broadened at the end of the novel, and it is astonishing. Obsession, necessary an illusion, breaks down when a subject, writer, realizes that an object, Maria, is the non-authentic part of the decaying world of groups and Societies he despises. Object can only be valuable for him when it is shrouded in mystery. The glass between the observer and the observed must exist for this illusion to survive. What is left from an ideal when the glass shatters? But maintaining the distance, keeping the glass intact (to extend the metaphor) is not in accordance with the need of an analytical mind to discover truth. Therefore, the only way to preserve an ideal is to destroy its physical actuality. When painter meets Maria he says that there is only one person who can understand his work. This statement is gradually transformed as the novel continues. Who is that one person? After all, there is only one tunnel.

Jim

** spoiler alert ** This is a short, curiously intense first-person narration about how a young artist falls for a younger woman and proceeds to do all the wrong things, until -- out of frustration -- he stabs her to death. From the very first, Juan Pablo Castel reminds one of the narrator of Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground: "I am a sick man ... I am a wicked man. An unattractive man." One day, at a show of his art works, Castel notices a young woman looking at the corner of one of his paintings, where there is a woman, a window, and a seascape. It seems to the painter that this is the only person at the show who seems to have understood his painting, so he pursues her until he finds her. Her name is Maria Irarte, and she is married to an older blind man named Allende, who, surrounded by his books, bears a suspicious resemblance to the blind Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges. Except that in 1948, when The Tunnel was copyrighted, Borges was not yet altogether blind (that was to come in 1955).There are other curious references to Borges. At one point, a mystery writer named Georgie (Borges's family nickname) is mentioned, together with a mystery plot that curiously mirrors Borges's story "Death and the Compass." Sábato knew Borges, and was not one of his friends, and in fact was a political enemy of sorts.As we follow Castel who fails to understand the existence of any ambiguity in his relationship with Maria (for so it develops), he seems to be unable to prevent himself from wounding her:Before the words were out of my mouth, I was slightly repentant. Behind the person who wanted the perverse satisfaction of saying them, stood a purer and more compassionate person preparing to take charge the minute the cruelty of that sentence had reached its mark -- a person who, in a way, even if silently, had taken Maria's part even before those stupid and pointless words had been voiced....Except that other persona that was repentant was rarely in the ascendant. Instead, Castel winds up psychologically lacerating her to the extent that one questions why Maria would submit to this treatment -- unless there were a masochistic strain in her. In the end, Castel sees himself as if in a tunnel that had windows into a parallel tunnel in which Maria moved:And in one of those transparent sections of the stone wall I had seen this girl and had naively believed that she was moving in a tunnel parallel to mine, when in fact she belonged to the wide world, the unbounded world of those who did not live in tunnels; and perhaps out of curiosity she had approached one of my strange windows, and had glimpsed the spectacle of my unredeemable solitude, or had been intrigued by the mute message, the key, of my painting.When Castel stabs Maria, the tunnel closes in on him; and Maria is no longer a resident of the "unbounded world."

Tosh

A nice little hard boiled novel regarding obsessive love, or non-love maybe the case. As usual it is not the loved one, but more about the lead character's feelings about himself. I also like the fact that he's an artist. I wonder his relationship with creating something was a failure if sorts. A man at the end of his rope can only come to terms with his obsession. He was dead at the very beginning of the book.

Víctor

Es la historia de un ser mezquino que se enamora de una mujer que no puede comprender, y en su desesperación la mata.Tal vez es nos habla de que todos terminamos asesinando emocionalmente a las personas con las que nos vemos baldados al construir puentes hacia ellas. El autor hace una estupenda metáfora sobre la mezquina existencia individual dentro de un túnel. Sólo vemos ocasionalmente desde gruesas ventanas a la gente con las que soñamos estar identificadas, pero sólo es una fantasía, y la angustia que genera el redescubrirnos aún más solos y aislados.Mezquindad es la palabra. Egoísmo. Sí, tender puentes emocionales con otras personas es muy difícil, pero no imposible. Únicamente se logran mirando de frente y hablando con claridad, no desgastando el alma con interpretaciones y conjeturas.Pero hay luces. Al menos una para mi: a sus 37 años el protagonista pudo enamorarse locamente (literalmente). Si su enamoramiento fue un torbellino patológico, es otra cosa, pero el enamoramiento estuvo ahí.Releí el libro el 4 de diciembre del 2011

Mario Gámez

Lamentablemente, Sabato eligió un mal momento para publicar su obra. 6 años antes, Camus había irrumpido en la literatura mundial con su genial "El Extranjero", y para desgracia de Sabato es imposible no ver alguna similitud en ambos textos. Eso, muy en lo personal; habrá quien diga lo contrario, pero yo opino eso. No pienso comparar dichas obras, pues sé que lo han hecho diversos autores... y esto sin necesidad de ir a google y buscar. Lo que sí diré es que Sabato se arriesgó, y gracias a eso se posó como uno de los grandes literatos de la lengua española. No niego su valor, y tampoco niego su reconocimiento, pero creo que pudo haber sido mejor. Es un libro recomendable, y quienes hayan leído antes El Extranjero, de Camus, puede que no les guste (a menos, claro, que haya sido a la inversa). En lo personal me entretuvo durante medio día, y me recordó el porqué odio a los críticos de arte.

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