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The Sunday Tunnel: policies and procedures

We (all chances are this will turn out to be a most appropriate royal ‘we’) will start digging my tunnel, chipping it away quote by quote from The Tunnel by William H. Gass (page numbers referring to the Dalkey Archive Press edition of 1999 reprinted 2007). The post will look a lot like this or like that (I have been exercising).

The Tunnel is a beast of a book. If it were a Miss Universe contestant it would have to hope inner beauty was key to winning the contest. This is an awkward metaphor since The Tunnel is about everything but winning a contest, and: every sentence in it is a thing of beauty. The thing is that it is one of those books that appear not to want to have readers. What better tribute then to write an interminable succession of idiosyncratic posts mirroring (in a muddy puddle type of way) this beast of a book (sawing a sequoia solo with a hand saw).

What is certain though is that whereas my posts may better be characterized as idiotic, this book is the book of how human stupidity binds with stupid inhumanity to create a destructive force way beyond that of the Death Star.

Yes, it is also about fascism.

Below the fold are the policies and procedures applying to this exercise (on the off chance of there being interest to make contributions).

The procedure is simple enough: I quote some quotes and then post some thoughts about it. This way I will crawl my way to the end (if there is an end which there probably isn’t). I will try to do this weekly. The progress will be slow enough for the motivated to keep up in reading what I guess will be 20-30 pages a week.

Know that I do not claim any authority on the matter other than having read the damned thing (well, I’m about 120 pages short of even that). I didn’t claim what I don’t have.

This brings me to the policies: you can comment what you want – there isn’t even a need to read the thing – but I’ll delete what I sincerely dislike. Two examples of things I will sincerely dislike are:

  1. Challenging my authority on the matter at hand (I avowed that I have none), and,
  2. Being a fascist prick or calling somebody else a fascist prick (I will treat them the same)

Know also that whereas The Tunnel is probably beyond pessimism in stating that the apocalypse is realized not only here and now but also throughout our history and our future, my tunnel is one of cultural optimism: what is is far from bad, what was was not half as bad as people make it out to be, and, what will be cannot but be better than both.

I’ll sincerely dislike seeing the different points of view in my tunnel from that of The Tunnel as a lack of understanding of The Tunnel because such interpretations will lack an understanding of my tunnel.

[Continues here.]


December 30, 2012 - Posted by | Sunday Stories, Tuesday Quought | , ,


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