, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 205-219
Date: 07 Jun 2008

Authorial irrelevance in Sábato’s El Túnel

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This article tackles an under-explored aspect of Castel’s alienation in El Túnel: the conflict between the author and his work. Like many artists, Castel finds himself isolated from the pedestrian mainstream. However, in opposition to other misunderstood artists who discover in their works an aesthetic connection that compensates somewhat for their social alienation, Castel is distanced not only from the public with whom he attempts to communicate via his literary creations, but he is no less so from the works themselves. At war both with society and the higher imperatives of his artistic impulses, Castel struggles in vain to connect with his art and those it reaches. He remains aesthetically disenfranchised and socially marginalized throughout the work. As his narrative drifts off into an inconclusive silence, the reader comes to understand more fully the complex interweave that characterizes the aesthetic encounter. At the point where artistic consumers consider the quixotic work of a distant author, definitive conclusions matter less than the struggle to identify that elusive conjuncture between the explicit and the poetic, the accessible and the impenetrable, the chaotic and the coherent: bipolar tensions that endow the aesthetic enterprise with is enduring omnipotence.