THE MELANCHOLY OF RESISTANCE by László Krasznahorkai

THE MELANCHOLY OF RESISTANCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first English translation of a 1989 Hungarian novel, in which the arrival of a traveling circus in a nondescript village arouses local curiosity, paranoia, and terror and ends in a kind of communal madness. Like the work of Austrian ur-pessimist Thomas Bernhard (which may have influenced it), Krasznahorkai’s darkly funny parable is presented in chapters of unbroken long paragraphs, and attains both a hurtling momentum and a pleasing complexity in the presentation of its passionately interconnected characters—the most memorable being the Valkyrie-like hausfrauen Mrs. Eszter and Mrs. Plauf, the former’s estranged husband (a music teacher who tries and fails to remain aloof from his neighbors’ fear of everything new and different), and the latter’s son Valuska, a young idealist whose “awakening” is gloomily foreordained. Not an easy read, but ingeniously composed and fascinating.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 2000
ISBN: 0-7043-8009-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: New Directions
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2000




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