The Tunnel at 25 Project

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Ted Morrissey
contact email: 

William H. Gass’s magnum Opus The Tunnel turns 25 in 2020, and it’s been just over fifty years since parts of the novel began appearing in print in 1969; thus, it may be an appropriate time to reassess Gass’s massive work, which was met with a wide range of reactions when it came out in 1995, from effusive praise to bewilderment to outright hostility.

The primary goal of this project is to direct attention to The Tunnel, which has become one of those great books (no matter how one defines great) which is rarely read. In fact, on April 9, 2020, published a list of “The 50 Best Contemporary Novels over 500 Pages” – “Long Books, Worth Your Time” – and The Tunnel was not among them.

I have purchased a website – (currently private) – to host an online symposium dedicated to The Tunnel, and my hope is that you will contribute a paper to be published at the site. Because it is a symposium, I would like to encourage some discourse between contributors (and perhaps the public at large) as well, but what that may look like is not yet clear. I am committing to maintaining the website in perpetuity.

The papers may deal with any topic you like related to The Tunnel. To encourage readability, I would prefer that the papers be similar to those that tend to be presented at conferences and symposia, meaning relatively short (compared to the typical scholarly article) and fairly informal (again, compared to scholarly work). Here are some (very flexible) guidelines:

Topic: related to William H. Gass’s The Tunnel

Length: 2,000 to 2,500 words (roughly)

Documentation Style as needed: MLA

Format: Word document (to be submitted as an attachment) - include brief contributor's note, especially as it may relate to the project

Deadline: July 1, 2020 – with the plan to have the website live by August 1, 2020

Copyright: Author retains copyright (request for acknowledgment of the site/project if the work is reprinted elsewhere)

Payment: None (I wish I could, but this is a labor of love)