Synopses & Reviews
A magnificent new collection of stories by “the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse” (Susan Sontag).
In The World Goes On, a narrator first speaks directly, then tells eleven unforgettable stories, and then bids farewell (“for here I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me”). As László Krasznahoraki himself explains: “Each text is about drawing our attention away from this world, speeding our body toward annihilation, and immersing ourselves in a current of thought or a narrative…” A Hungarian interpreter obsessed with waterfalls, at the edge of the abyss in his own mind, wanders the chaotic streets of Shanghai. A traveler, reeling from the sights and sounds of Varanasi, encounters a giant of a man on the banks of the Ganges ranting on the nature of a single drop of water. A child laborer in a Portuguese marble quarry wanders off from work one day into a surreal realm utterly alien from his daily toils. The World Goes On is another amazing masterpiece by the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. “The excitement of his writing,” Adam Thirwell proclaimed in the New York Review of Books, “is that he has come up with this own original forms—there is nothing else like it in contemporary literature.”
“The universality of Krasznahorkai’s vision rivals that of Gogol’s Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing.” W. G. Sebald
“One of the most mysterious artists now at work.” Colm Tóibín
“The spirit of James Joyce hovers over Krasznahorkai's pages, and Nietzsche is never far away, either; indeed, the German philosopher appears early on, breaking down into madness on witnessing a horse being whipped in a Turinese street. In philosophically charged prose, Krasznahorkai questions language, history, and what we take to be facts, all the while rocketing from one corner of the world to the next, from Budapest to Varanasi to Okinawa.” Kirkus Review
About the Author
Lászlo Krasznahorkai, described by James Wood in the New Yorker as an "obsessive visionary," was born in Gyula, Hungary. This is his seventh book published by New Directions.
George Szirtes is a Hungarian-born British poet and translator who has translated works by Sándor Csoóri, Dezsö Kosztolányi, and László Krasznahorkai.
Ottilie Mulzet is a literary critic and translator of Hungarian. New Directions published her translation of Krasznahorkai's Animalinside.
John Batki is a kilimologist, writer, translator, and visual artist. He was born in Hungary and has lived in the United States since age 14.
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