El túnel

ISBN: 9871144261
ISBN 13: 9789871144266
By: Ernesto Sabato

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About this book

Breve e intensa novela publicada en 1948, este logrado fruto de la denominada "literatura existencial" le dió a su autor un reconocimiento que traspasó las fronteras nacionales. Para quien todavía no la leyó, El túnel es la mejor introducción al universo prodigioso de Ernesto Sábato; para quien la conoce, un clásico de las letras del continente, una historia sobre el drama del hombre arrojado en el sinsentido más doloroso: la conciencia de la nada. 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 intrincados 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. Técnicamente perfecta y de lectura apasionante, El túnel excede el negativismo ácido de Sartre, y la frenética huida hacia el vacío que plantea El extranjero de Camus, pero tiene de esos dos maestros literarios la impronta genial que hace de la escritura una radiografía del alma atormentada.

Reader's Thoughts

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.

☽ Moon Rose ☯

In the thin thread that separates the mind of a madman from the ordinary man, lies the impenetrable glass wall that veers their perspective senses into two opposing reflections of the Cosmic Spectrum. An ordinary man mirrors the reality of life at face value, either gallivanting under its scintillating shine of happiness or wallowing in the abysmal chasm of its grief and suffering while on the other side, a madman continuously pursues the dark eternal subterranean passageway of his consciousness in constant doubt, as he searches for the true meaning of life, enclosing his mind into the gloomy infinity of complete absence, as if reflecting an existence trapped in the endless blackness of The Tunnel...Yet, it is also true that through this pitch black dungeon of the human consciousness can we find true salvation . It is like seeing the beauty of the Universe, without the billion years of Cosmic evolution, as the Universe reveals Itself in all Its glory out of Its dark and violent past. It is this same process necessary for the human consciousness to evolve, where it could permanently eliminate the destructive notion of separation as the true beauty of existence comes full circle amidst the flicker of silver lining from the hollow end of The Tunnel.This is what Ernesto Sabato explores with thought provoking poignancy and virulence in The Tunnel as he seeps deeper into the inner linings of Juan Pablo Castel's deranged and frenzied mind, capturing the dreariness of the human condition lost in the muddy puddle of existence that imprisons life in his obsessive search for purpose and meaning... The contextual style of the novel is similar to the tradition made famous by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, as Sabato utilizes the same literary technique used in Crime and Punishment where Dostoevsky vividly transcribes the innermost thoughts of Raskolnikov's criminal mind. THE SCENE IN THE WINDOW: Of Human Bondage to Loneliness "Was that really it? I sat pondering the idea of the absence of meaning. Was our life nothing more than a sequence of anonymous screams in a desert of indifferent stars?" Like the great novelists possessed by the burning intensity of their passion, losing themselves in the intricate labyrinth of their creative genius, unconsciously disentangle the mystic and elaborate thread that knots the whole of existence in a convoluted bind of disorder...This blinding unconscious manifestation of the human mind is the same with Castel whose painting of a lonely and insignificant woman looking out to the sea from her window , which conspicuously shows its obvious alienation from the rest of the canvas is somewhat a vivid snapshot of the cruel reality that conveys the sombre nature of an individual existence lost in the tranquil ocean of meaningless isolation.This part of the painting, aptly called The Scene in the Window is a pertinent character of its own in the novel as it serves as the initiator of events to follow, a symbolic key that unlocks the dim passageway of The Tunnel, enabling Castel to peer through the glass facade that divides him from the role his about to play in the life of Señorita Maria Iribarne. CASTEL'S PHANTAMASGORIC EPISODES: The Stranger Within What is exemplary in Sabato's narrative execution is his adept writing skills that can transform a rudimental thought into a palpitating force of profound energy, sweeping the reader into the unseen and explosive strata of human psychosis. It is through this powerful and convincing technique that he vividly captures the irrational violence within Castel's convoluted thoughts like watching an active volcano about to erupt. "My mind is a dark labyrinth. Sometimes there are flashes, like lightning, that illuminate some of the passageways. I never know why I do certain things. No, that isn't right..." To distinguish the complexity of the multilayered form of thoughts, Sabato expounds deeper into Castel's character, taking the unobtrusive route to the dark side of self, as it magnifies the concurring presence of an underlying stranger within Castel, as his self appears to be bounded within two separate opposing niches that wobble intermittently, taking over his mind with fierce ferocity, as both interchange without his control, splitting his self into two equal halves. "While one urges me to see the beauty of the world, the other points out its sordidness and the absurdity of any feeling of happiness..." These two opposite forces represent the conscience of creation and destruction, reflecting one's capacity to follow either the creative light of good or showing one's vulnerability to succumb to the destructive forces of evil. Both are embedded within the undecipherable inner boundaries of human consciousness and appears outwardly in the form of intentions. It develops one's ability to discern that starts at the moment of inception and moves to a certain direction depending on one's own external experiences and physical contact, moulding the mind to perform a particular task at a specific and designated time. This is Castel's dilemma that tortures his conscience, which Sabato intricately transcribes through the phantasmagoric episodes of his thoughts, fusing the elements of reality with the destructive dreamy images of his deranged mind, as it appears like a Universal subterfuge, feigning him to perform an unstoppable act, as he swiftly moves towards his destiny like a speeding train bound to crash away from its tracks, entrapping his soul further to the unreachable innermost limits of The Tunnel. ☾ "From the dark horizon of my future a sort of slow, persistent breeze had been blowing toward me, all my life long, from the years that were to come. And on its way the breeze had leveled out all the ideas that people tried to foist on me in the equally unreal years I then was living through." ---Albert Camus, The Stranger

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.

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.

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.

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.

Katie

Although El túnel may be one of Ernesto Sábato’s lesser-known works, but it is a stimulating read, especially to aspiring psychologists. It tells the story of Juan Pablo Castel, an artist who becomes so obsessed with his lover María that he kills her. Castel’s thought processes will pull you into the depths of his psychological tunnel, and his neurosis and obsessions are compelling. Don’t expect to be uplifted by this book, but do expect to think about the true essence of human life and to be challenged by Sábato’s insight. El túnel is a great existential work, and it is definitely worth the time that you invest in reading it. Aunque quizá sea El túnel una de las obras de Ernesto Sábato menos conocidas, es un relato estimulante, especialmente para los psicólogos en ciernes. Relata la historia de Juan Pablo Castel, artista que se obsesiona tanto con su amante María que la mata. Los procesos mentales de Castel te arrastrarán en la profundidad de su túnel psicológico, y su neurosis y sus obsesiones son absorbentes. No esperes que el libro te eleve, sino que pensarás en la esencia verdadera de la vida humana y el reto que te enfrenta la perspicacia de Sábato. El túnel es una gran obra existencial, y vale el esfuerzo que inviertes en leerla.KatieWashington & Lee University, ‘11

طَيْف

يا لها من ليلة كافحت فيها للخروج من نفق ساباتو المعتم!!!0يا لها من ليلة!!!0إلى أين ستأخذك وحدتك " خوان بابلو كاستيل"؟؟وكيف تمكّنت تلك اللحظة التي رأيت فيها "ماريا" من أخذك لتلك النهاية؟؟ألم يكن لأحاديث الأوهام والشكوك والقلق بداخلك، وافتراضاتك التي تحاسب من حولك بناء عليها من نهاية؟؟ أما اكتفيت منها وهي تنقلك من حال إلى حال حتى ارتكبت تلك الفاجعة وما منحتنا تلك الإجابات المقنعة لأسئلة ثارت برؤوسنا وأنت تتنقل بأفكارك من زاوية لأخرى بلا تأنٍ ولا هوادة؟؟إلى أين كنت تريد الوصول بعد أن تضامنت معك المرأة الوحيدة التي استطاعت من خلال لوحة فهم وحدتك وحاجتك لمن يملأ عليك عالمك ويخرجك من إطار تلك النافذة ويشرع أبوابها؟؟ وكيف كنت ستتمكن من فهمها وأنت الذي لم يفهم نفسه بعد؟؟ ساباتو يضمن لنا حد الإشباع من شخصية بطله دون أن يمنحنا تفسيرات عن ماضيه، ودون إجابات لكثير من الأسئلة التي ظلت شاردة...ودون تعاطف معه رغم إحساسي بعميق وحدته وألمه...وربما يعود ذلك لصلفه وغروره واعتداده بنفسه وكأنه الصواب المطلق!!0وربما كان "خوان بابلو" إنعكاسا ولو جزئيا لشخصية ساباتو التي قالت عنه زوجته:" ساباتو رجل مثير للجدل على نحو مريع، وهو غير مستقر وكئيب لكنه يعي بوضوح قيمته. يتأثر بكل ماهو سلبي ويتوق للحنو والعطف مثلما يمكن لطفل مشرد أن يكون، تلك الحاجة الى الحنان التي تكاد تكون مَرَضية، تجعله يفهم بالطريقة نفسها المعوقين والمشردين ويحس بهم. لكنه أيضا تعسفي وعنيف وعدواني أيضا "ألم يكن ذلك تماما إحساسي بـ "خوان بابلو"؟؟أما المرأة في روايته "ماريا" فمتوشحة كذلك بغموض لا يقل عن غموض بطلنا...وربما كان غموضها واحتفاظها بكثير من الإجابات بداخلها سببا فيما وصل إليه خوان بابلو وهو يبحث عن إجابات فلما لا يعثر عليها يقنع نفسه بأوهامه وشكوكه ومخاوفه فيتردى في وحدته أكثر فأكثر ليصل إلى تلك النهاية.رواية "النفق" موغلة في سبر أعماق النفس بكل أحاديثها الداخلية وتعقيداتها...ستأخذك مع ساباتو إلى نفق مظلم غرائبي مجنون...فاحرص أن تخرج منه سالما، واحرص على التخلص من بقايا حزن لا يرحم ستتفشى بداخلك!!!0يقول ساباتو:"فيما يتعلق بي فسأكون راضيا جدا ان كنت كتبت رواية واحدة تقاوم الزمن"وقد كتب ثلاث روايات، لم أقرأ منها إلا هذه، والتي أظنها مقاومة بكل جدارة للزمن.

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

Dana

made me feel sane, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. classic latin american novel. very innovative for its time. absorbing, super-quick read. sabato takes you right down into the tunnel with his protagonist. just make sure you remember how to come out of the tunnel on your own...

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.

Jorge Gómez

Impresionante, magnanimo, magnifico, increíble, sorprendente, atrapante, delicioso, cautivante, adictivo, preciso. Todos adjetivos que se me vienen a la mente al pensar en este libro, y a diferencia de lo que probablemente Juan Castel pensaria, a mi realmente me gusto el libro, por sobre las adulaciones que crea que estoy haciendo.El libro, cuyo personaje protagónico es la expresión misma de nuestra psicosis (Al menos, la que a mi me aqueja con cosas que, para cualquier otro, son insignificantes) aunque llevada al extremo, en la cual, todo se justifica a través de la razón, pero una razón maniática con rasgos psicopáticos y en la cual se mezclan asombrosamente la pasión y la lógica.Brillante, no queda mucho por decir, Sabato te atrapa pagina tras pagina, no con un final que deslumbre ni sea algo nuevo (Ya que el final de la historia es contado al principio de esta), sino, con una increíble forma de hacer parecer razonable actitudes desquiciadas, pero por sobretodo la ansiedad que produce en el lector las actitudes de María, empatizando, con el obsesivo-compulsivo de Castel.

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.

jeremy

dark and dizzying, ernesto sábato's debut novel is a chilling existential thriller that became an important work in the canon of latin american literature. the tunnel (el tunel), first published in 1948, is one of three revered novels written by the late argentinian writer (whom passed away earlier this year at the age of 99). in addition to being a respected human rights advocate, sábato also published over a dozen collections of essays.at the book's onset, painter juan pablo castel has already been tried and imprisoned for the murder of maría iribarne. writing while incarcerated, castel offers a recounting of the events that led to her murder, "to tell the story of my crime: that and nothing more." castel is both obsessive and neurotic, and his diabolical attempts to win maría's love are mostly in vain, yet are marked by an ever-escalating desperation as the story progresses. as castel's compulsive actions and psychological state become increasingly frantic (and paranoid), the novel's short chapters themselves seem punctuated by ever greater frenzy. while the reader is already well aware of the story's outcome, it is startling to witness castel's delusional thinking lead to his own near-collapse.while the tunnel is indeed a short work, it remains a remarkably engrossing one. although the characters elicit little in the way of sympathy, their actions and interactions offer a compelling glimpse into psychological illness and despair. sábato's prose directs the story's arresting pace, and makes the inevitable outcome seem all the more disturbing. the tunnel is a fantastic, foreboding portrait of both mania and man's struggle for meaning in a "life nothing more than a sequence of anonymous screams in a desert of indifferent stars." in the light of this reasoning, life becomes a long nightmare, but one from which we can be liberated by death- which thus becomes a kind of awakening. but awakening to what? my indecisiveness about plunging into absolute and eternal nothingness had deterred me whenever i was tempted by suicide. in spite of everything, man clings desperately to existence and, ultimately, prefers to bear life's imperfections, the torment of its sordidness, rather than dispel the mirage through an act of will. it also happens that when we have reached the limits of despair that precede suicide, when we have exhausted the inventory of every evil and reached the point where evil is invincible, then any sign of goodness, however infinitesimal, becomes momentous, and we grasp for it as we would claw for a tree root to keep from hurtling into an abyss.

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.

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