SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

SUMMARY The Tunnel

The Tunnel

SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel Thirty years in the making William Gass's second novel first appeared on the literary scene in 1995 at which time it was promptly hailed as an indisputable. There are so many possible ways of existence We have not lived the right life But is there the right life to be lived The Tunnel belongs among those books one drowns in like in the delugeThe man of action has a destiny a star he follows and it draws him on like the Magi or so it s said the taillight of a car it s said the flag of a deer The creator courts the muse pays tribute and pursues sucks sips sniffs puffs pops screws for the favor of his Fancy The visionary sees the future like a dream draped dressmaker s dummy as silks pinned to the canvas skin of a shameless wire veined manikin But we historians we poets of the past tense we wait for our tutelary spirits to find us we sit in one place like the spider and until that little shiver in the web signals the enmeshment of our prey we look within for something to lighten our nightmare the weight of our patience the fluorescent face of a bedside clock for example enamel nailshine bleached sheetThe protagonist and narrator is a historian but he is a mountebank a uack scientist fake Faust He wants to make a pact with the devil but Mephistopheles can t buy his soul because he is a fraud as well because heroes are creatures created by ignorance like infatuations they are born of hype of superstition fraud as are gods saints and movie stars and they all pass into legend myth romance still further fictions like clouds into cloudsConseuently the hero of the novel is nothing but a worm and a worm needs a wormhole And he starts digging the tunnel a private passage to his personal hell And the worm being hates the light the world and everyone in this world Love has its limits but hatred is boundless In order to exist hate must like a worm devour everything on its way And hate slowly devours the hater too

REVIEW ´ KTIU.RU ´ William H. Gass

SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel Masterpiece The story of a middle aged professor who upon completion of his massive historical study Guilt and Innocence in Hitler's Germany finds himself. RIP Hamlet What have you my good friends deserv d at the hands ofFortune that she sends you to prison hither Guildenstern Prison my lord Hamlet Denmark s a prison Rosencrantz Then is the world one Hamlet A goodly one in which there are many confines wards anddungeons Denmark being one o th worst Rosencrantz We think not so my lord Hamlet Why then tis none to you for there is nothing either good orbad but thinking makes it so To me it is a prison Don t you see that when a man writes the history of your country in another mother language he is bent on conuest If he succeeds he will have replaced your past and all your methods of communication your habits of thinking feeling and perceiving your very way of being with his own His history will be yours perforce Mad Meg Guilt and Innocence The process of Denazification began in earnest in early 1946 with a series of directives issued by the Allied Control Council The aim was a thorough meticulous investigation of the entire German people and the punishment of all found to be guilty of supporting the Nazi state Germans were to be placed in one of five categories Major Offenders Offenders Lesser Offenders Followers and Exonerated Persons The concept of collective guilt was emphasized through the posting of graphic images of the concentration camps in newspapers on placards pamphlets and posters displayed in towns cities storefronts and cinemas headed with the statement YOU ARE GUILTY OF THIS However uite rapidly it became clear that such a process was impractical Not only was there no clear defining line between the guilty and the innocent if such words have any real meaning who amongst us could be truly exonerated but the process also ran counter to the urgent need to create a functioning economically sound society To speed up the procedure it was decided that unless their crimes were serious members of the Nazi Party born after 1919 were exempted on the grounds that they had been brainwashed Members of the Nazi party began to buy and sell denazification certificates on the black market The system fragmented and slipped out of sight All that remained were the Nuremburg Trials with all their symbolic cathartic theatre The German people s history was left in chimeric disarray half conuered by the American tongue Is genocide a zombie or a hydra what happens when we cut off its head The actions of the Nazis were only bad because they failed Had they been successful and the Thousand Year Reich established Himmler would be a hero and not a failed chicken farmer with the blood of millions on his hands William Frederick Kohler the monster tunnelled through by Gass has faced the complexity of this problem and recognised its Hydraic nature He is filled with enough self loathing legacy of a wonderfully evoked childhood to face the implications of these events the fact that as a species it is a rare specimen who would not at heart belong as a member of the PdP Of course as its name implies to be a member of the PdP means one would had one be born elsewhere been a member of the NSDAP Can any of us truly say with certainty that all our petty disappointments bitterness and self disgust would not have led us by the hand into that darkness On the first page of the novel are two flags They are broken into sections that name those minor character flaws that we all as human beings suffer from at one time or another Envy Spite Secretiveness Resentment Bigotry Long Suffering Frigidity Niggardliness Malice Sullenness Churlishness Hypocrisy Self pity Vindictiveness Pettiness Procrastination Sloth and Jealousy Gass wishes to remind us that this is also a list of the ingredients reuired to fashion genocide The components of inhumanity are human all too human Hamlet s statement that it is our thoughts that designate good and bad is of course in one sense correct particularly when one refers to morals as Nietzsche pointed out but is there an objective sense in which those flaws listed above can be labelled bad is there something to be said for moral universalism is there a viewpoint from which had the Nazi s succeeded one could still see their guilt and if so then are not all of us veined and marbled by such immorality It is simple enough to designate the Shoah as a bad thing not it must be stated evil as that term is a meaningless excuse but it is the point where as one digs further and further down into individuals and individual acts such certainty starts to crumble that is the most difficult to reconcile with our ideas of humanity Where does one draw the line in the five categories of guilt and innocence set out above It is this issue something I believe is one of the most important and profound legacies of the horrors of the 20thc that Gass spent almost 30 years investigating The Tunnel is a novel of great philosophical importance and subtlety as well as technical masterpiece It is hard going and the passage gets dark narrow and stifling but it is a novel that I cannot recommend highly enough There is no simple answer to the paradox that humanity is fundamentally inhumane but to accept this fact should at least inspire us to vigilance We should continue to tunnel inward even when the dirt falls in our eyes

William H. Gass ´ 1 SUMMARY

SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel Writing a novel about his own life instead of the introduction to his magnum opus The Tunnel meditates on history hatred unhappiness and above all languag. Our proper bliss depends on what we blameThis unhesitatingly gets the full fathom 5 star treatment because without a doubt it is an amazing work I was amazed among a host of other emotions and the 26 years of labor Gass put into The Tunnel are apparent in every carefully wrought sentence in this monster masterpiece However it is an extremely unpleasant read perhaps the most unpleasant and disturbing read I ve come across in my 35 years of intellectual intake The fact that such heights of beauty and musicality are mixed with such abysses of misery and violence compound the disturbing nature of this experience it is a total experience mind and body and I can only come to one conclusion about this book it is the only work of fiction I know that encompasses and unsparingly realizes the full consciousness of the 20th century in a single thrust That wolfhound age that sprawl of the greatest intellectual achievements and most disgraceful humanistic horrors history has ever seen that is Kohler Gass has embodied in this paper bound consciousness the gnarled and twisting poles of our recent past and it is of necessity an ugly brutal confounding thing There are sections in this book any writer would give a limb to have written sentences paragraphs pages that rival the finest prose in existence there are also entire chapters I would be ashamed to be overheard reciting That those architectural word wonders are enjambed with lines like This book is intended to make you a mountain From such a mountain you may see dead Jews and throw off jokes about cannibalism in Auschwitz and sexual abuse and genocide is par for the course if one is creating a character that is the 20th century And here we have it Do not enter lightly Know that beyond the entrance to The Tunnel there is darkness descent and the things that burrow unseen into our bright superterranean existence and subvert it decimate and infect it A book that some might toss aside after 50 pages in disgust I argue for patience and objectivity for the heart of this thing is a moral tale a warning the discontented the miserable the unsatisfied the embittered the hate filled the jealous those who feel slighted and ignored and cast off by the world are among us and when they seek blame outside themselves when they seek a scapegoat for their miseries rather than shouldering their load themselves rather than seeing and improving themselves awful things might occur What is human can be so easily lost the best products of our minds disfigured or buried like the corpse of a criminal feeding the poison vines that creep up the walls of our houses


10 thoughts on “SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

  1. says: SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel There are so many possible ways of existence “We have not lived the right life” But is there the right life to be lived? The Tunnel belongs among those books one drowns in like in the delugeThe man of action has a destiny a star he follows and it draws him on like the Magi or so it’s said; the taillight of a car it’s said;

  2. says: SUMMARY The Tunnel SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel RING THE BELLS RING THE BELLS THE GREAT MAN IS GONE FLOAT YOUR GASS REVIEWSThe first 200 pages of this novel carry the reader aloft on flowin

  3. says: SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel William H. Gass ´ 1 SUMMARY SUMMARY The Tunnel

    William H. Gass ´ 1 SUMMARY SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel O William GassSuch a pain in the assHis difficult proseGets right up my noseNote I've been reading this novel on off for about 6 months But not no IT’S YOUR FAULT CLEAR AS DAY The Tunnel comes to you with the maximum number of intellectual endorsements possible for a novel that isn’t James Joyce’s Ulysses Before you pick it up you’ve been beaten into submission by the priestly class of all that is good and holy in modern literature

  4. says: SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel SUMMARY The Tunnel It feels like I have been reading this for as long as Gass spent writing it; it’s a hefty tome and not easy to read The primary character around whom all this revolves is William Frederick Kohler I am reliably informed that in the US the word Kohler has plumbing connotations He is a middle aged history professor at a mid western university who has just completed writing his magnum opus Guilt and Innocence in Hitler’s

  5. says: SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel When this book was published in 1995 by Alfred Knopf I was in the middle of deep reading on the Holocaust Many of the titles I still hold in my

  6. says: SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY The Tunnel SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel REVIEW ´ KTIU.RU ´ William H. Gass RIP Hamlet What have you my good friends deserv'd at the hands ofFortune that she sends you to prison hither? Guildenstern Prison my lord? Hamlet Denmark's a prison Rosencrantz Then is the world one Hamlet A goodly one in which there are many confines wards anddungeons Denmark being one o' th' worst Rosencrantz

  7. says: SUMMARY The Tunnel SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel REVIEW ´ KTIU.RU ´ William H. Gass

    REVIEW ´ KTIU.RU ´ William H. Gass William H. Gass ´ 1 SUMMARY SUMMARY The Tunnel Being William Kohler The Tunnel is a sort of portal through which we enter into the head of one William Frederick Kohler We poke around in his memories and his thoughts exploring all the little twists and turns of his mind The uestion of how a child goes from innocence to becoming a monster is answered through Kohler's ramblings and flashbacksBut monster is the wrong word here He never achieves anything that

  8. says: William H. Gass ´ 1 SUMMARY REVIEW ´ KTIU.RU ´ William H. Gass SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel SUMMARY The Tunnel Our proper bliss depends on what we blameThis unhesitatingly gets the full fathom 5 star treatment because without a doubt it is an amazing work; I was amazed among a host of other emotions and the 26 years of labor Gass

  9. says: SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel REVIEW ´ KTIU.RU ´ William H. Gass William H. Gass ´ 1 SUMMARY The Tunnel ConceitThe tunnel is an authorial conceit on the part of William H Gass as well as his protagonist William F KohlerIt's probably best to abandon any preconceptions of what it might mean when you enter either tunnel as a r

  10. says: SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel

    SUMMARY The Tunnel SUMMARY ´ The Tunnel William H. Gass ´ 1 SUMMARY For six hundred and fifty one pages Gass invites the reader to wade through a lifetime of memories dredged—and at times

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  • Paperback
  • 652
  • The Tunnel
  • William H. Gass
  • English
  • 05 June 2017
  • 9781564782137