Hispanic culture has world-renowned literary works you can’t leave out in your Spanish learning. 🤓
That’s why we give you a hand at Spanish Express to get to know the most important titles of Hispanic literature and cinema. 📚🎬
You will find many of these works in our Spanish Film & Literature Workshops, which you will study in depth with us 😉.
Today we’ll be talking about El túnel (The Tunnel) to give you a taste of one of the books available in the workshop. 😁
Get to know this exceptional work by Ernesto Sábato and learn Spanish in the process. 🙌
Let’s get started! 💃
El túnel (The Tunnel)
Ernesto Sábato published El túnel (The Tunnel) as his first novel in 1948. In this narrative, he tells the story of the murder of María Iribarne, the lover of Juan Pablo Castel, the protagonist of the story.
Throughout the book, the author takes us through Juan’s psychological process, from the first moment he sees María to the last moments of his tragic story. The narrative voice is John’s. Therefore, we experience the events through him.
Their romance begins when they meet at an art exhibition where Juan shows his paintings to critics and the general public. In the crowd, our protagonist spots a woman, María Iribarne.
María had come to the painter’s attention because of her particular interest in a painting called Motherhood. This awakened in John a sense of familiarity and understanding, feelings that would later lead to his obsession.
“Sometimes I think nothing makes sense. On a tiny planet, running towards nothingness for millions of years, we are born amidst pain, we grow, we struggle, we get sick, we make people suffer, we suffer, we scream, we die, they die, and others are being born to start the useless comedy all over again.” – El túnel (The Tunnel)
There was little communication between Juan and María, but that was enough to fuel the painter’s desire for her.
However, despite the little information this woman shared, Juan discovered that she was married to a blind man named Allende. Unfortunately, this revelation only plunges the protagonist into dangerous paranoia.
Lost between what he thought was love and doubts about María’s life, Juan accuses her of using him as one of her lovers. Then, feeling used and motivated by other dark thoughts, he decides he must end María’s life.
El túnel (The Tunnel) is a must-see play that will show a man’s mind disturbed by obsession. In addition, you will enjoy a work written by one of the most influential authors of Hispanic literature.
The novel was banned during Franco’s dictatorship, who called the book immoral.
However, it became an iconic work of literature in Spanish and, without a doubt, one that you can’t leave behind in your learning.
The Argentine novelist was born in Rojas, Argentina. He stood out mainly as an essayist and novelist during his professional life. However, literature was not his only passion.
Sábato graduated as a physicist and was an important painter in the Argentine artistic movement.
But his worldwide recognition came with his three most important novels: El túnel (The Tunnel), On Heroes and Tombs, and Abaddon the Exterminator.
These works and his essays, which led to reflection on the human condition with titles such as One and the Universe, led to his being awarded the Miguel de Cervantes Prize. He thus shared the position as one of the most influential writers alongside Jorge Luis Borges.
“Life is so short and the craft of living so difficult, that when you start to learn it, you have to die.” – Ernesto Sábato.
The Latin American Boom put him on readers’ radar, and his works did the rest. Sábato was accustomed to exploring the psychology of his characters, delving into dark themes far from moral values.
His long life allowed him to experience different literary movements and join other causes. In addition, the writer delved into Argentinean politics, which led him to become the president of the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons.
This organisation sought to investigate enforced disappearances that occurred during the dictatorship. This led to the prosecution of several of those responsible for the killings and disappearances of civilians.
Furthermore, his time on this commission was marked by a report he produced entitled Nunca más (Never again).
He spent his life between politics, art, and writing, and just a few days before his 100th birthday, Ernesto Sábato died in Argentina in 2011.
However, his works continue to represent and recall his ideas about life and his work for justice.
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Get to know more Hispanic literature titles with Spanish Express! 💃
Did you like this story? 👀
This is just one of the more than 20 works we have available in our Spanish Film & Literature Workshops. 🙌
By joining our sessions, you will get to know many more Spanish and Latin American books and films that will help you improve your Spanish. 😎
In addition, you will delve deeper into the vast and rich culture behind the Spanish language. 😊
Don’t wait any longer to be part of our workshops and discover what will be the next play with us. 🤝
Ginnette Di Damaso
Spanish Express blogger