The Melancholy of Resistance Paperback – 20 Sep 2013
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The universality of its vision rivals that of Gogol's Dead Souls. --W. G. Sebald
Ingeniously composed and fascinating. "
Lifts the reader along in lunar leaps and bounds. "
An inexorable, visionary book by the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse who inspires comparison with Gogol and Melville.--Susan Sontag
In Krasznahorkai s deft hands, the effect is a layered, freewheeling, amazingly persuasive tour of living human consciousness, in varied states of self-awareness.--Chris Lehmann"
Krasznahorkai's artistry merits serious notice. May further translations grant him the wider notice he deserves among English-speaking readers.
Ingeniously composed and fascinating.
The Melancholy of Resistance is a slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type. --George Szirtes
Lifts the reader along in lunar leaps and bounds.
One of László Krasznahorkai's finest novels available in stunning redesigned paperback --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Krasznahorkai, it must be said, stands out at as a hugely significant writer whose importance has been rightly recognised outside of his native country. According to Susan Sontag, he is "the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse who inspires comparison with Gogol and Melville". W. G. Sebald had this to say: "The universality of Krasznahorkai's vision rivals that of Gogol's Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing."
I have to agree. The key premise of this novel is deceptively simple - a strange circus rolls into a small, run-down town, purporting to show a huge whale carcass as its main exhibit, along with a shadowy figure known as `The Prince'. This character appears to have a sinister hold over previous towns' audiences - many of whom have travelled into this town with the circus... with a possibly nefarious intent.
Against this backdrop we are concerned with the machinations of three main characters:
Valuska - a hapless and pliable, but essentially good-natured individual who is widely seen as the town idiot and is caught up in events with tragic consequences.
Mrs Eszter - a totalitarian individual who is plotting a take-over of the town, with both the circus and Valuska as key tools for realising this.
Mr Eszter - the downtrodden academic husband of Mrs Eszter: a recluse who has removed himself from the disintegrating society around him, yet is spurred into action in defending Valuska; who he alone can see merit in.Read more ›
On a dark, snowy night a huge truck carrying a stuffed whale chugs into a provincial Hungarian town. People gather round, seemingly enchanted by the strange attraction. However, rumours quickly spread about its purpose for being there, and slowly but surely normal life spins into a night of chaos as local superstitions, paranoia, resentments and opportunism are inflamed.
The story focuses on three characters: Valuska (a naive free-spirit), Mr Eszter (a reclusive professor), and Mrs Eszter (a Machiavellian figure obsessed with gaining power), and it's these three portrayals that are the book's strongest aspect.
The story itself is a slow-burner: events aren't rushed or presented in an unnatural way, and a criticism might be that things are drawn out a little too much at times, especially in the middle. That said, there is no doubt that the intricacy of the telling, plus the overall dark realism, has a captivating quality and an epic feel.
The narration takes you into a surreal world, a nightmare version of a dusty town. The narration is flowing in and out of the minds of the dreamlike characters. This novel is about impending changes and the fears relating to these changes. It's especially interesting to read this now with the world in such a state of economical and social upheaval.
The characters are all somewhat existing on their margins, their fears, feelings are so much like what we probably have in the bottom of our souls; it sometimes leaves me speechless.
You shouldn't be looking for symbols, etc in this text, it's more complex than that, the stuffed whale, the square with the touts are all images, feelings from somewhere very primordial, you have to feel this novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Imagine a noir story with words to amuse an etymologist; sentences the length of paragraphs; paragraphs the length of very long chapters and a three-hundred page book with just a... Read morePublished on 14 July 2012 by Tanstaafl
I found this a turgid and intensely boring book; the writers style of long winding but rather dull sentences was complimented by an editorial layout of a lack of indents with text... Read morePublished on 21 July 2009 by G. Williams