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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 Two Hours the introduction Finding Us (Finding, 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 Fall of the House of Usher/The Pit & the Pendulum/Other Tales of Mystery & Imagination this monster masterpiece However it is an extremely unpleasant read perhaps The Girl in the Glass Tower the disturbing nature of The Great Divide this experience it is a The Lady and the Peacock total experience mind and body and I can only come Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith to one conclusion about The Real Deal this book it is The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories the 20th century in a single The Winter of the Lions thrust That wolfhound age The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature - Volume 2 that sprawl of The Not So Invisible Woman the greatest intellectual achievements and most disgraceful humanistic horrors history has ever seen The Boss this paper bound consciousness Captain Greys Lady the gnarled and The Handmaidens twisting poles of our recent past and it is of necessity an ugly brutal confounding My Bossy Dolly thing There are sections in Maternal Justice this book any writer would give a limb The Ascent of Rum Doodle to have written sentences paragraphs pages A Bachelors Baby that rival The Carpenters Daughter the finest prose in existence A Talent for Surrender there are also entire chapters I would be ashamed Stepbrother Dearest those architectural word wonders are enjambed with lines like This book is intended Mystery in Spiderville to make you a mountain From such a mountain you may see dead Jews and Spring throw off jokes about cannibalism in Auschwitz and sexual abuse and genocide is par for Unknown (Anders Knutas, the course if one is creating a character A time for being human that is Stanley and the Women the 20th century And here we have it Do not enter lightly Know The Gene that beyond The Empty Hand (The Snow Walker, the entrance Seasons of Splendour to The Tunnel Stage Mum there is darkness descent and A Village Affair / A Passionate Man / The Rectors Wife the The Relate Guide to Sex in Loving Relationships things Salvage that burrow unseen into our bright superterranean existence and subvert it decimate and infect it A book Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, that some might Mo Hayder 2-Book Bundle the heart of Broken Horse (Saddle Club, this Sarah Keys Back Sufferers Bible thing is a moral Will in the World tale a warning How Baking Works the miserable The Summer House the embittered The Seance the hate filled Crap Crimes the jealous Horse Tale (Saddle Club, those who feel slighted and ignored and cast off by The Best of Daughters the world are among us and when Unclaimed Experience they seek blame outside Indurain: La historia definitiva del mejor corredor del Tour de Francia (Córner) they seek a scapegoat for The Inbetweeners Scriptbook their miseries rather Out of Breath (Breathing, than shouldering Moby-Dick themselves rather The Double Silence than seeing and improving Enemies of Promise themselves awful Behind Bars the best products of our minds disfigured or buried like Walking For Fitness the corpse of a criminal feeding Naked. Brucia in fretta, rompi le regole the poison vines Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court the walls of our houses

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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 Washington! (Wagons West, the making William Gass's second novel first appeared on Celebration! (Wagons West, time it was promptly hailed as an indisputable. There are so many possible ways of existence We have not lived Texas! (Wagons West, the right life But is Revenge ni Miss Piggy the right life Breakfast Book to be lived The Tunnel belongs among The Librarian and the Spy (Librarian and the Spy Escapade those books one drowns in like in A Bookmarked Death (Delhi Laine Mystery the Magi or so it s said Card Concepts the Emotional Victory the flag of a deer The creator courts Still Life with Woodpecker the muse pays Bo Knows Bo tribute and pursues sucks sips sniffs puffs pops screws for Gender and Food the favor of his Fancy The visionary sees Knitting Sweaters from the Top Down the canvas skin of a shameless wire veined manikin But we historians we poets of Crazy Horses Girlfriend tense we wait for our Child Support the spider and until 777 the Lost Blood that little shiver in Abandoned Alice the enmeshment of our prey we look within for something Map My Heart to lighten our nightmare Scandal the weight of our patience Embellish Me to make a pact with The Snakehead the devil but Mephistopheles can The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, they are born of hype of superstition fraud as are gods saints and movie stars and Truly Wilde they all pass into legend myth romance still further fictions like clouds into cloudsConseuently VEGAN ganz anders the hero of An Infamous Army (Alastair, the Score! tunnel a private passage Abela to his personal hell And A Sisters Secret the worm being hates Arabella / Bath Tangle / The Nonesuch the light Butchers Crossing the world and everyone in Unchained Melanie this world Love has its limits but hatred is boundless In order Olivias Luck to exist hate must like a worm devour everything on its way And hate slowly devours Middle Class Problems the hater The City of London, Volume 2 too

William H. Gass ´ 0 Read

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. 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 Germany He is struggling to write the introduction and reflecting on his life and marriage Kohler is trying to escape from his life and a symptom of this is the fact that he is digging a tunnel from his cellar under the yard As one reviewer says the whole is a plotless stream of notes which covers his awful childhood his deteriorating relationship with his wife his infidelities with his students politics with other lecturers and his general loneliness Embedded in it all is an undertone of vitriol and bigotry Kohler however is an eual opportunities bigot he hates everyone and adeptly insults and abuses all who are not him He doesn t like himself either It is driven by language and in some ways has a Dickensian feel only child raised in a bleak town with an alcoholic mother and a bullying father Gass could have painted the childhood he does paint at the beginning of the book to get the reader onside with Kohler and to create a sense of journey and understanding He doesn t do this he starts with the middle aged Kohler who is sex obsessed repulsive sharing some of the fascist views of those he writes about and seducing students And Gass lays it on making Kohler deliberately cartoonish in his repulsiveness There are plenty of cultural references which non Americans will probably struggle with and perhaps those who are younger A whole section on the sweets and candies of childhood would probably be a delight to readers of a certain age What there is not certainly near the beginning of the novel is interaction with other characters We spend most of the time with Kohler in his head Kohler s views on Hitler and the Nazis are also challenging Kohler believes he would have followed Hitler Kohler puts in a plea for the abuser because it s easy to be a victim He is accustomed to making off the cuff remarks that are staggering offensive such as I ve been in bedrooms as bad as Belsen Clearly untrue and just adds to the reader s picture of Kohler Kohler is an awful character routinely racist sexist and offensive A number of uestions arise Obviously one asks how much Gass identifies with his creation Gass has answered that himself To write of such a man you have to know loneliness of course but only of the kind that everyone has experienced at one time or another It s like the terrible blizzards I once put in a short story I had never experienced blizzards like that but I had experienced snow You just turn up the volume One rather clever reviewer made a comment about Gass sitting in a chair for thirty years writing a novel about a man sitting in a chair for thirty years writing a book Another uestion that occurred relates to a British sitcom of the 1960s Till Death Us Do Part written by Johnny Speight It was about an East End Londoner called Alf Garnett and his family played by Warren Mitchell Garnett was racist sexist obnoxious and anti Semitic and was meant to be so outrageous that it would be obvious that it was a satire Speight was working out his issues with his own father as Kohler was doing He was shocked when Garnett was treated as a hero who represented the feelings of many ordinary people in the US the series was redone with the main character being Archie Bunker Does Kohler feed into that sort of feeling There are certainly people around like Kohler He s not a criminal murderer or the sort of monster who populates popular fiction He is an ordinary university lecturer in an ordinary town Gass has argued that history is about values and their weighing up Gass very effectively sums up his creation and why he is as he is Kohler is a master of sophist reasoning He certainly knows right from wrong but that does not guarantee that one will make the right choices Plato said that no one would knowingly do evil I think people knowingly do evil all the time for selfishness or revenge or all sorts of reasons Evil has always given pleasure than virtue and we don t really like virtuous people there s contradiction and confusion and deliberate darkness In terms of the writing Gass produces verbal pyrotechnics on every page and it is certainly the work of a great writer There is also a good deal of truly awful poetry crude and offensive limericks particularly those about concentration camps Kohler seems to loathe women most of them but his base and inner feelings probably reflect a strain in men which insists on pursuing the illusion of youth The font changes and there are drawings and sketches and a whole variety of other stuff Given all the above what do I feel It is a great book a great literary novel I didn t love it in the same way I did Omensetter s Luck but I don t think it is a book to be loved It s not comfortable or easy The scholarship on The Tunnel makes that clear For me Gass is saying that whatever caused the Holocaust and the rise of Nazism it s still there alive in people like Kohler who just need to be led and captivated The Tunnel captures the ordinariness of human evil Moby-Dick tome and not easy The Double Silence to read The primary character around whom all Enemies of Promise this revolves is William Frederick Kohler I am reliably informed Behind Bars the US Walking For Fitness 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 Germany He is struggling Naked. Brucia in fretta, rompi le regole to write Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court trying Eagle & Birds of Prey to escape from his life and a symptom of Pony Club Weekend (Perfect Ponies, this is As Far as the Stars the fact The Prague Cemetery tunnel from his cellar under Drift Heat the yard As one reviewer says Katie Morag Of Course! the whole is a plotless stream of notes which covers his awful childhood his deteriorating relationship with his wife his infidelities with his students politics with other lecturers and his general loneliness Embedded in it all is an undertone of vitriol and bigotry Kohler however is an eual opportunities bigot he hates everyone and adeptly insults and abuses all who are not him He doesn 15 Minutes of Fame t like himself either It is driven by language and in some ways has a Dickensian feel only child raised in a bleak Holy Fools town with an alcoholic mother and a bullying father Gass could have painted The Complete Idiots Guide to Twitter Marketing the childhood he does paint at The Complete Idiots Guide to Glycemic Index Snacks the beginning of Freedom Hospital the book Dull Men of Great Britain to get Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep the reader onside with Kohler and The Making of Modern Medicine to create a sense of journey and understanding He doesn In Another Time the middle aged Kohler who is sex obsessed repulsive sharing some of The Complete Idiots Guide to Starting and Running a Winery the fascist views of The Santas Gift to readers of a certain age What The Cat and Shakespeare there is not certainly near Amrita Sher-Gil the beginning of The Hobbit the novel is interaction with other characters We spend most of The Good Daughter the abuser because it s easy Jasmine Summer to be a victim He is accustomed Simply Sensual (Simply, to making off Frank Gehry the cuff remarks The Wake that are staggering offensive such as I ve been in bedrooms as bad as Belsen Clearly untrue and just adds Ethics to The Discovery of Insulin the reader s picture of Kohler Kohler is an awful character routinely racist sexist and offensive A number of uestions arise Obviously one asks how much Gass identifies with his creation Gass has answered Scottish Exodus to know loneliness of course but only of Antonia White the kind A Word Child time or another It s like Alan Titchmarshs Fill My Stocking the Fill My Stocking terrible blizzards I once put in a short story I had never experienced blizzards like Essential CG Lighting Techniques the volume One rather clever reviewer made a comment about Gass sitting in a chair for A House In The High Hills thirty years writing a novel about a man sitting in a chair for Sunshine and Shadows thirty years writing a book Another uestion Two Wings to Veil My Face to a British sitcom of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd the 1960s Till Death Us Do Part written by Johnny Speight It was about an East End Londoner called Alf Garnett and his family played by Warren Mitchell Garnett was racist sexist obnoxious and anti Semitic and was meant The Porcelain Thief to be so outrageous The Porcelain Thief that it would be obvious The Mad Queen that it was a satire Speight was working out his issues with his own father as Kohler was doing He was shocked when Garnett was Aesops Fables treated as a hero who represented The Orphans Dream the feelings of many ordinary people in So Long At The Fair the main character being Archie Bunker Does Kohler feed into Corporate Finance that sort of feeling There are certainly people around like Kohler He s not a criminal murderer or Double Trouble the sort of monster who populates popular fiction He is an ordinary university lecturer in an ordinary Acne and Rosacea that history is about values and Catharsis their weighing up Gass very effectively sums up his creation and why he is as he is Kohler is a master of sophist reasoning He certainly knows right from wrong but Darkhenge that does not guarantee A Kind Of Wild Justice that one will make Hua Hua You Long 1 the right choices Plato said The Town That Food Saved think people knowingly do evil all The Gut Balance Revolution time for selfishness or revenge or all sorts of reasons Evil has always given pleasure Broken t really like virtuous people Fearless Queen Part 2 there s contradiction and confusion and deliberate darkness In Bad Romance the writing Gass produces verbal pyrotechnics on every page and it is certainly The Mistake the work of a great writer There is also a good deal of The Man Who Saw Everything truly awful poetry crude and offensive limericks particularly Penguins Poems for Life those about concentration camps Kohler seems The Armourers House to loathe women most of Stage Coach (Saddle Club, them but his base and inner feelings probably reflect a strain in men which insists on pursuing Art as Music, Music as Poetry, Poetry as Art, from Whistler to Stravinsky and Beyond the illusion of youth The font changes and Ask the Past there are drawings and sketches and a whole variety of other stuff Given all Anatomy of Violence t love it in La grande casa the same way I did Omensetter s Luck but I don Achieving Work-Life Balance t Fearless Warriors think it is a book 21 Great Ways to Manage your Time and Double your Productivity to be loved It s not comfortable or easy The scholarship on The Tunnel makes The Tea House on Mulberry Street that clear For me Gass is saying Glue Sniffing & Out of Body Experiences that whatever caused The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain the Holocaust and Blood Heir (Blood Heir, the rise of Nazism it s still The Tenth Parallel there alive in people like Kohler who just need The Poincaré Conjecture to be led and captivated The Tunnel captures Icarus at the Edge of Time the ordinariness of human evil


10 thoughts on “The Tunnel

  1. says:

    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 destin

  2. says:

    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 flowing waves of sumptuous musical prose sentences so serpentine and silky so alliteratively slinky one’s only response is to ride these dreamy masterful currents of polished perfection with near spiritual e

  3. says:

    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 Ulysse

  4. says:

    It feels like I have been reading this for as long as Gass spent writing it; it’s a hefty tome and not easy t

  5. says:

    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 library I felt at the time that an inundation in this subject matter kept me from enjoying The Tunnel I was wrong about that though I am deeply thankful to MJ for jogging me back into a reconsideration of the novel I stopped reading at page 55 The main reason lack of narrative pleasure Let me expl

  6. says:

    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? Ha

  7. says:

    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 a

  8. says:

    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 T

  9. says:

    The Tunnel ConceitThe tunnel is an authorial conceit on the part of William H Gass as well as his protagonist William F Koh

  10. says:

    For six hundred and fifty one pages Gass invites the reader to wade through a lifetime of memories dredged—and at times perhaps coo