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El Túnel (2003)

El túnel (2003)

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4.04 of 5 Votes: 1
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9871144261 (ISBN13: 9789871144266)

About book El Túnel (2003)

One of the giants of Latin American literature, Ernesto Sábato (1911-2011) lived most of his life in Buenos Aires, Argentina and periodically committed his own manuscripts to the flames, noting in one interview with wry satisfaction how fire is purifying. Fortunately, in addition to many essays, three of his novels survive. Before commenting on ‘The Tunnel’, his first novel written in 1948, some observations on his other two: ‘On Heroes and Tombs’, Sábato’s dark, brooding 500 pager includes an entire hallucinogenic, mindbending section, “Report on Blind People”. The novel also features young Martin and the object of his obsessive love, Alejandra, a reclusive young lady who deals with serious bouts of madness. With every page turned, a reader is led ever further down murky, winding corridors of memory and imagination. Not an easy read. And Sábato’s second full-length novel, ‘The Angel of Darkness’ is even darker and more brooding, where Sábato himself takes on the role of main character and first-person narrator. In one outlandish scene, Sábato has a nightmare where he shows up on his wedding day as groom wearing only his underwear, marrying a television celebrity with blind Jorge Luis Borges standing in as best man. I mention Borges’s blindness since this novel also involves a search for a Society of the Blind rumored to be responsible for all the world’s ills. With its unique combination of magical realism and philosophic reflections, I judge this as one of the greatest novels ever written. However, on this point, I am an army of one since nearly all critics and readers cite this work as dense, heavy and overly cerebral. Turning to ‘The Tunnel’, Juan Pablo Castel, first-person narrator of Sábato’s short novel, is a painter who becomes obsessed with a young woman who has a particular appreciation for a scene in one of his paintings. And although ‘The Tunnel’ is the same length as Camus’s ‘The Stranger’ and both are considered works of existential alienation, the obsessive Castel is a universe away from Meursault’s indifference. And to whom may we compare Castel? For my money, narrators in Tommaso Landolfi’s tales of obsession – aristocratic and condescending down to their toes, looking at their fellow humans, even those educated and cultured, or, perhaps, especially those educated and cultured, as a rabble of vulgar, ugly, gluttonous, gross morons.Back to Castel’s obsession for the young woman. The opening line of the novel: “It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel, the painter who killed Maria Iribarne.” Hi sits in the room where he is locked up and writes down how once he set eyes on Maria Iribarne he was driven mad by desire. This is one compelling story. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down until I finished. My sense is Sábato wanted his reader to do exactly that – read in one sitting to get the full emotional and psychic impact of Castel’s obsession. At one point Castel relates a nightmare where he is in an unfamiliar house surrounded by friends and one sinister stranger. We read, “The man began to change me into a bird, into a man-size bird. He began with my feet: I saw them gradually turning into something like rooster claws. Then my whole body began to change, from the feet up, like water rising in a pool. . . . but when I began to speak it was at the top of my voice. Then I was amazed by two facts: the words I wanted to say came out as squawks, screeches that fell on my ears as desperate and alien, perhaps because there was still something human about them, and, what was infinitely worse, my friends did not hear the squawking, just as they had not seen my enormous bird-body.” This nightmare foreshadows a scene in ‘The Angel of Darkness’ where Sábato walks down a street in Buenos Aires, having been transformed into a half-blind, barely aware, four foot bat. The theme of blindness pops up continually. Maria Iribarne’s husband is blind. During one emotionally charged conversation, Castel accuses Maria of ‘deceiving a blind man’. At another point, Castel conveys how he was blinded by the painful glare of his own shyness and at still another, how his blindness prevented him from seeing a flaw in an idea. And, turns out, we can see how Castel’s obsession made him blind when it came to Maria. For example, the following exchange where Castel first converses with her: The hardness in her face and eyes disturbed me. “Why is she so cold?” I asked myself. “Why?” Perhaps she sensed my anxiety, my hunger to communicate, because for an instant her expression softened, and she seemed to offer a bridge between us. But I felt that it was a temporary and fragile bridge swaying high above an abyss. Her voice was different when she added:“But I don’t know what you will gain by seeing me. I hurt everyone who comes near me.”

Okay, this is some real serious stuff buh. I have read alot of pretty damn fine books lately but noone, really noone, had managed to crawl into my head with this creepy voice like Ernesto Sabato. Its disturbing. Its like I can feel him all over. I feel as unhinged right now as Juan Pablo Castel. Makes me want to run around the block a couple of times in the cold just to get this voice out of my head. Wont probably help anyway. The Tunnel is a small book, less than 150 pages strong, with a formally and aesthetically flawless and very simple linear structure, very accessible and the story progresses at a steady pace. The writing is agile but not superfluous, metaphors are turned upside down and Sabato has some beautiful images. The dialogues are cleverly integrated into the story and the secondary characters are described in broad strokes. They display a certain vagueness, something which contributes to the monolithic perspective. A happy marriage between form and substance, a novel that is dense, intense and powerful with a mixture of speechless despair and pleasure. A Wagnerian tragedy. No surprises that grand writers like Thomas Mann and Albert Camus praised it in their lifetime. And that Juan Pablo is a hispanized version of the name Jean-Paul (Sartre) should tell you already a bit about it too.With the first sentence already Ernesto Sabato shocks his readers: "It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel, the painter who killed Maria Iribarne." With delight in excruciating detail Castel describes the murder and the history behind. A murder that happened out of mad jealousy to prove her "disloyality".How he has first seen Maria in an exhibition of his paintings where he got the impression she is the only one who truly understands him. Him the introverted, narcisstic and misantrophic artist. How he meets her again after looking for her for months. How the relationship began even she is married and how it was already fated right from the beginning. But its less a novel about jealousy than a reflection on loneliness and anxiety as Juan Pablo doesnt really love Maria for being who she is but rather in relation to his own narcissism.Only from his point of view we see the world. Only from his arrogant, lonely and depressed mind, trapped in a paranoid and cruel logic we get explanations. But he is unable to really communicate and there are more and more delusions and loss of reality and the tunnel vision of his gets stronger and stronger until everything becomes uncontrollable. Juan Pablo is a prisoner. Literally speaking, condemned for his crime, but even more so a prisoner of existential loneliness.On a more personal sidenote: I wouldnt want to encounter someone like Juan Pablo in my life. There are some smaller scenes which are scary and creepy. How he grabs Maria by her arm, shakes her, screams at her because he is convinced she was laughing at him behind his back even he cannot, could not see her face. He is seriously unhinged. In this day and age of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube someone like him probably wont turn into a murderer but the chances and risks are high that he would stalk you. "Out" you with phone number and email, with pictures all over the internet with *cusswords* in capital letters on them. Sabato managed to get into my head, he crawled into it and I could physically feel his voice. And the hands and the stare of Juan Pablo on my body. It made me violently sick as it was so intense. I wanted to have a hot shower, to run for miles - just to get away from it. I didnt succeed.

Do You like book El Túnel (2003)?

Un roman psihologic, apăsător, e confesiunea scrisă în închisoare de pictorul Juan Pablo Castel, care se predase singur după ce o ucisese pe María Iribarne. Castel o văzuse pe aceasta la vernisajul unei expoziții, observând detaliul unei picturii peste care toți ceilalți trecuseră cu ușurință, și devine obsedat de femeia pe care o consideră singura persoană din lume care îl înțelege. O caută disperat prin Buenos Aires, o urmărește, încearcă să se întâlnească cu ea, reușește în final, află că e măritată cu un orb (Allende). Obsesia sa se agravează, devine gelos și paranoic, o suspectează că se culcă cu un văr de-al ei (Hunter); când ea încearcă să rupă relația, pe care o considera dăunătoare lui Castel, o urmărește și o ucide în casa de la țară a lui Hunter. După aceea, îi mărturisește crima lui Allende, apoi se predă poliției.Un roman existențialist, dar mai puțin influențat de teoreticienii contemporani ca Sartre, Merleau-Ponty sau teologul Paul Tillich, și mai mult de Dostoievski și Kierkegaard. Ca și Străinul lui Camus, de altfel, Tunelul poate fi privit ca o replică modernă la Crimă și pedeapsă al lui Dostoievski.Tema centrală este singurătatea și iubirea într-o lume dezumanizată. Tunelul este o metaforă pentru escaladarea însingurării lui Castel, care părăsește parcă lumea și se afundă într-un tunel întunecat: el iese din metropola vie, Buenos Aires, și merge la țară; evită grupurile de intelectuali (literați, critici de artă) pe care-i disprețuiește, în cele din urmă nu mai poate suporta nici distanța dintre el și singura persoană pe care o simțea cât de cât aproape (María), și o ucide: egoist și pradă emoțiilor sale, Castel este incapabil să înțeleagă iubirea cu maturitate și să facă din aceasta soluția la însingurarea sa, care în cele din urmă îl corupe iremediabil.Ca și Meursault și Raskolnikov, Castel e un străin, un alienat, aparent hotărât să-și conducă viața după logică și rațiune, dar pradă pulsiunilor adânci ale psihicului; ca și ei, concluzionează necesitatea crimei după un șir de raționamente aparent logice, infailibile, dar care nu iau în considerare de fapt elementul uman al existenței. Ca și ei, meditează asupra justiției și îndreptățirii crimei ca mijloc de expresie a libertății și de control al existenței într-o lume pe care o percep dezumanizată.

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.
—Iván Leija

(سأكتفي إني خوان بابلو كاستيل الذي قتل ماريا إيرييارني )حين تبدأ بقراءة الرواية ستتذكر جيدا إن بطل الرواية لم يكن بحاجة للتعريف عن نفسه أكثر فأنت تستطيع أن تستشف من خلال عباراته الذاتية طبيعية هذه الشخصية المجنونة , للحظات ستشعر وكأنك تعيش هذا العالم المرعب الذي يدور في تفكير كاستيل وكيف يعبر من سؤال إلى آخر في حالة جنون مرعبة ,ممتلئة بالشك والخوف , تتضح تماما في حالة البطل النفسية والمسكونة بعُقد عميقة تكونت في داخله , لا نعرف كيف تكونت ولن نعرف ذلك .هذه الشخصية ممتلئة بالغرور والعنجهية الذاتية فتراه يسفه أي شيء وكل شيء , ولايؤمن بشيء سوى ذاته وتكاد ترى هذا الغرور من خلال عباراته وهو يحكي قصة ارتكاب جريمته ( لاأروي هذه القصة بدافع من الغرور إنما قد أكون على استعداد للتسليم بأن في الأمر شيئا من الزهو أو الكبرياء 0 عندما بدأت هذه الرواية قررت جازما ألا اقدم أية تفسيرات أردت أن أسرد قصة جريمتي وحسب : ومن لاتحلو له يجدر به ألا يقرأها وإن كنت أظن أن ذلك لن يحدث لأن أولئك الذين يجرون وراء التفسيرات هم أكثر الناس فضولا )لم يكن كاستيل مختلفا عن تفسيره هذا فقد كان يفصّل ويحلل كل شيء غير إنه دائما يسير بإتجاه سلبية الأمور مما يثير غصبه فيتراكم يوما بعد يوم حتى أصبح بركانا فأنفجر وكانت ضحيته ماريا! .( حاولت أن افكر بوضوح , رأسي مرجل يغلي , لكن عندما تتوتر أعصابي تتوارد الأفكار في ذهني كراقصة باليه ورغم ذلك تعودت أن أتحكم بأفكاري على نحو صارم وأن ارتبها بدقة أعتقدأنني لو لم أقم بذلك لأصبت بالجنون )بالطبع لم يستطع كاستيل أن يرتب أفكاره كما كان يدعي كانت أفكاره قلقة نهبة للشك كانت تفقده الصواب كثيرا يختلط فيها الوهم بالحقيقة فرغم تظاهره بالتماسك كان لابد أن ينهار أخيرا ماريا تمثل هذه الشخصية الأنثوية الجاذبة التي قدر لها الكاتب أن تسيطر على عقل رسام وقفت أمام لوحته استرعتها نافذة مشرعة على بحر في اللوحة يبدو أن هذا مرتبطا بمشاهد في حياتها غير أن كان هذا كافيا ليجر إليها الرسام بحثا عن التواصل المفقود في حياته وبشخصيتها المستسلمة والغامضة نوعا ما والمثيرة للشفقة أحيانا تدخل معه في علاقة غريبة الأطوار مما جعل الرسام ينتابه الشك في مدى جديتها واستمتاعها , والذي حول العلاقة إلى مأتم حواري كلما التقيا من هذه النوعية ..يقول كاستيل : لو تطرق الشك إلى نفسي يوما ما بإنك تخدعينني فسأقتلك كما أقتلُ كلبا !!سرعان كاستيل ماكان يشعر بالذنب خاصة حين يرى وجه ماريا مبللا بالعبرات فيسرع إليها كي يقبل عينيها بحنان وهكذا يتصارع كائنان في داخل كاستيل ولكن إلى متى يستمر السير في هذا النفق الطويل المعتم وأي الكائنين يتغلب على الآخرلقد كان العقاب بحجم الفرح الذي احدثته ماريا في قلب كاستيل كونها الشخص الوحيد الذي استطاعت أن تتواصل معه الأنفاق دائما تحوي أسرارا سرتُ في نفق ساباتو وجلب كاستيل لي الصداع حتى تمنيت لو كان يقف أمامي فلن أتوانى عن قتله ولو في مخيلتي لإنهاء عذاباته التي أرقتني هذه الرواية كانت بداية الطريق لعالم ساباتو وجرتني لروائعه الأخرى
—mai ahmd

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