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The Melancholy of Resistance (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – June 17, 2002
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“An inexorable, visionary book by the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse who inspires comparison with Gogol and Melville.” (Susan Sontag)
“In Krasznahorkai’s deft hands, the effect is a layered, freewheeling, amazingly persuasive tour of living human consciousness, in varied states of self-awareness.” (Chris Lehmann - Newsday)
“Krasznahorkai's artistry merits serious notice. May further translations grant him the wider notice he deserves among English-speaking readers.” (Review of Contemporary Literature)
“Ingeniously composed and fascinating.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The Melancholy of Resistance is a slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type.” (George Szirtes)
“Lifts the reader along in lunar leaps and bounds.” (The Guardian)
“One of the great novels of the last quarter-century - like a MittelEuropean Moby Dick.” (Garth Risk Hallberg - The Millions)
Original Language: Hungarian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel is written from four different points of view, that of Janos Valuska, Mrs. Plauf (Janos's mother), Eszter and Mrs. Eszter (Aunt Tunde), and skirts themes of chaos/order, Nazism, Sovietism, atheism, and their teeter-totter through history. Krasznahorkai's faulknerian sentences are like a wind at the back of a raging fire, yet there are so many conversational, almost comic asides (and maybe this is due in some part to the translation) that the effect is like being in a speeding car. Very enjoyable if you don't drive over the cliff.
Much has been written about Krasznahorkai’s long sentences. But George Szirtes’ translation is so deft, so smooth, that the long sentences scan very easily. For the most part, plot development is well paced. The story moves along nicely, although the English translation displays few, if any, poetical grace notes. The sentence structure is easily the most creative feature of the novel.
As an example of the humor, one 6-page passage narrates the interior monologue of the intellectual while he’s trying to hammer some nails. He keeps studying the problem, first the hammer and then the nail. But, how to make them collide accurately? He found “…the body’s command mechanism… could only be discovered… between the dazzling object of illusion and the eye that perceives that object, a position that entailed conscious recognition of the illusory nature of the object.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Save your money unless you have a hard time sleeping
20 pages on why pianos are tuned to perfect forths
Totally engrossing, if you can remember the beginning of a sentence which may be as long as the entire page. Rewarding and odd.Published 6 months ago by vinewhacker
"The Melancholy of Resistance" is a powerful, haunting novel that leaves the reader with more questions than it does answers. Read morePublished on April 7, 2013 by PuroShaggy
Considering the reviews here on Amazon, which call this book a surreal masterpiece, I expected that it would be something special. Read morePublished on November 28, 2012 by Peter I. Chipman
Imagine a noir story with words to amuse an etymologist; sentences the length of paragraphs; paragraphs the length of very long chapters and a three-hundred page book with just a... Read morePublished on April 10, 2012 by Tanstaafl
Often felt like I was reading Kafka. Other times it felt like plodding. Hard work sometimes but probably worth it.Published on March 1, 2012 by Thomas M. Lane
Extraordinary writer. This is the best book I have read in years. Other reviews have captured the spirit of the book better than I can. Read morePublished on October 15, 2011 by Dr Doran