This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

El túnel (Spanish Edition) by Ernesto…

El túnel (Spanish Edition) (original 1948; edition 2011)

by Ernesto Sabato (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,531567,655 (3.91)60
Infamous for the murder of Maria Iribarne, the artist Juan Pablo Castel is now writing a detailed account of his relationship with the victim from his prison cell- obsessed from the first moment he saw her examining one of his paintings, Castel had become fixated on her over the next months and fantasized over how they might meet again. When he happened upon her one day, a relationship was formed which swiftly convinced him of their mutual love. But Castel's growing paranoia would lead him to destroy the one thing he truly cared about . . . 'Sabato captures the intensity of passions run into uncharted passages where love promises not tranquillity, but danger.' Los Angeles Times With an Introduction by Colm Tóibín Translation by Margaret Sayers Peden 'An existentialist classic . . . Retains a chilling, memorable power' The New York Times Book Review… (more)
Title:El túnel (Spanish Edition)
Authors:Ernesto Sabato (Author)
Info:Bronce Argentina (2011), 113 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle

Work details

The Tunnel by Ernesto Sábato (1948)

Recently added byprivate library, dllman05, kollaps.mgb, hnn, Micaceres128, GCdMM, jeromep, Val_Reads
Legacy LibrariesThomas Mann
  1. 10
    La gangrena by Mercedes Salisachs (caflores)
    caflores: Dos confesiones, dos personajes degradándose.
  2. 00
    Contempt by Alberto Moravia (giovannigf)
    giovannigf: Looking for pseudo-existentialist first-person narratives from paranoid misogynists consumed by jealousy? This is your lucky day! I'd recommend Sabato's novel over Moravia's because it's mercifully brief, but you should save yourself the grief and read Tolstoy's masterful "The Kreutzer Sonata" instead.… (more)
  3. 00
    Los suicidas by Antonio Di Benedetto (Ronoc)
  4. 01
    Nunca Mas: The Report of the Argentine National Commission on the Disappeared by ARGENTINE COMMISSION (davidgn)
    davidgn: Ernesto Sábato was the President of CONADEP. El Túnel is his first and best-known novel. Worth reading: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/clives_lives/2007/02/jorge_luis_borges.html

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 60 mentions

Spanish (27)  English (24)  Italian (2)  Romanian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
It started out slow and boring, but picked up by the middle. The most intriguing aspect was revealed by a conversation between Maria's cousins somewhere in the second half of the book. Hunter discussed writing a novel that would be a satire on detective/crime fiction, whereas the main character uses deductive/inductive method in real life and becomes the modern Don Quixote (just as clumsy and awkward). Recast as such a novel, The Tunnel is a fascinating read.

Reading Russian literature discussion by Argentinian intelligentsia was another unexpected bonus. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |

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.”

( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
“El Túnel” es un buen libro y está categorizado dentro de la denominada ‘literatura existencial’. Tiene un buen arranque, nos atrapa desde la primera oración y los párrafos subsiguientes nos arropa aún con más fuerza.
Está muy bien escrito y el autor domina las palabras con suma facilidad manteniendo al lector cerca e interesado.

Aún lo expresado en el párrafo anterior, le doy 4 estrellas de 5 porque quizás es una historia más profunda de lo que a muchos podría gustarle, además, carece de un giro sorpresivo, de ese golpe en el estómago que a veces esperamos de un buen relato. También creo que va perdiendo fuerza en las últimas páginas, cuando debería ser todo lo contrario.

Puedo decir que me encantó desde el punto de vista psicológico, ya que estamos dentro de la mente de un ser solitario, triste, anti-social, agresivo, inseguro, paranoico y complicado… un conjunto macabro que lo lleva a cometer un acto imperdonable.

“El Túnel”, más que una obra para ser disfrutada es más bien una obra para analizarse; muy pocas páginas físicas pero tan profundo en contenido como el más azul de los mares. ( )
  JorgeLC | Apr 28, 2018 |
A confession from an overly analytic, jealous, paranoiac murderer. Fantastic prose. ( )
  encephalical | Jan 7, 2018 |
The writing is phenomenal, and as far as existential novels go I enjoyed this a lot more than Camus or Di Bennedetto; I just can't stand how immature this narrator is. ( )
  michaeljoyce | Dec 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
First words
It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel, the painter who killed María Iribarne.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Juan has unhealthy
Obsession with Maria.
Murder ensues: jail!

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.91)
1 3
2 25
2.5 7
3 84
3.5 20
4 140
4.5 17
5 117

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 140,146,642 books! | Top bar: Always visible