the deeply ambiguous writing of LÁSZLÓ KRASZNAHORKAI

SeioboAndrea Scrima at The Quarterly Conversation:

After the publication in English translation of Satantango, The Melancholy of Resistance, and War and War—which together with Seiobo There Below constitute an important cross-section of Krasznahorkai’s prodigious literary output—his bleak outlook on a human history bent on calamity has become legendary. In an interview published in 2012, he expresses doubt that the human race will survive another 200 years. Regarding our collective ability to alter this course, his prognosis is less than optimistic as he calls the authority of literature itself into question: “This kind of communication is really over and done with. Its disappearance is a rather obvious process; it is happening faster at some points of the world than at others. I’m afraid this kind of literature is not sustainable.” To compound the matter, as the incessant onslaught of information fragments our attention on a daily basis, it has to be said that reading Krasznahorkai is not particularly easy, even given the seductive nature of his prose. Moreover, with Seiobo There Below, he has set himself the task of writing about something that is essentially impossible to formulate in language. We are no longer accustomed to using words like “illumination,” “transcendence,” or “epiphany”; indeed, in our secularized Western world they can sound embarrassing and even ridiculous. Yet his is a language that flows in liquid state, eddying around obstructions to form vortices of swelling thought in which the consistency can suddenly gel, become viscous—and all at once, the writing embodies precisely what it describes as these endless, spell-binding sentences gradually alter our perception and prepare us for a brief glimmer of something outside ourselves, something that can perhaps explain us to ourselves.

more here.