Reading Krasznahorkai

Paul J. Griffiths at Commonweal:

László Krasznahorkai is a Hungarian writer born in 1954. His first novel, Satantango, published in 1985, established his reputation as a novelist with a uniquely idiosyncratic voice, a melancholic passion for sin and the apocalypse, and a compassionate interest in the minute details of both the human and the nonhuman world. He began to be translated into English in the late 1990s, and since then has received many prizes and awards, including, in 2015, the Man Booker International Prize. Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is his latest novel, and Krasznahorkai has said it’s his last. First published in Hungarian in 2016, it is the end of a cycle that began with Satantango and includes The Melancholy of Resistance (1989) and War and War (1999). These four, Krasznahorkai says, constitute his one book. He’s written many others, in many genres; but these four are the things to read first if you want to know him, feel him—and it does feel like something to read him: you know at once who it is you’re reading, and if you read enough of him the world you live in will begin to seem like the one he writes about, in rather the same way that once you’ve read Bleak House every fog participates in that novel’s fogs. Each of these four books, however, can be read independently, and there’s a case to be made for starting with this latest one: it’s arguably the best.

more here.