Satantango by Lazlo Krasznahorkai

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...this is an obviously brilliant novel. Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer; even the strangest developments in the story convince, and are beautifully integrated within the novel's dance-like structure.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize


At long last, twenty-five years after the Hungarian genius László Krasznahorkai burst onto the scene with his first novel, Satantango dances into English in a beautiful translation by George Szirtes.


Already famous as the inspiration for the filmmaker Béla Tarr’s six-hour masterpiece, Satantango is proof, as the spellbinding, bleak, and hauntingly beautiful book has it, that “the devil has all the good times.”



The story of Satantango, spread over a couple of days of endless rain, focuses on the dozen remaining inhabitants of an unnamed isolated hamlet: failures stuck in the middle of nowhere. Schemes, crimes, infidelities, hopes of escape, and above all trust and its constant betrayal are Krasznahorkai’s meat. “At the center of Satantango,” George Szirtes has said, “is the eponymous drunken dance, referred to here sometimes as a tango and sometimes as a csardas. It takes place at the local inn where everyone is drunk. . . . Their world is rough and ready, lost somewhere between the comic and tragic, in one small insignificant corner of the cosmos. Theirs is the dance of death.”



“You know,” Mrs. Schmidt, a pivotal character, tipsily confides, “dance is my one weakness.”
 

About Lazlo Krasznahorkai

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László Krasznahorkai was born in Gyula, Hungary in 1954. He has won numerous international literary awards and his works have been translated into many languages. George Szirtes is a Hungarian-born British poet and translator who has translated works by Sándor Csoóri, Dezsö Kosztolányi, and László Krasznahorkai.
 
Published March 5, 2012 by New Directions. 289 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Satantango
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Jacob Silverman on Mar 16 2012

“Satantango,” Krasznahorkai’s first book, shares many of his later novels’ thematic concerns...but it’s an altogether more digestible work. Its story skips around in perspective and temporality, but the narrative is rarely unclear.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Theo Tait on May 09 2012

...this is an obviously brilliant novel. Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer; even the strangest developments in the story convince, and are beautifully integrated within the novel's dance-like structure.

Read Full Review of Satantango | See more reviews from Guardian

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