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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Satantango Hardcover – March 5, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

A bleakly absurdist, voluptuously written saga of abject disintegration on the muddy nowheresville of the Hungarian puszta, Satantango had a sardonic prescience. Supposedly structured on the forward-backward steps of the tango, the novel glides from one consciousness to another, ultimately revealed as a kind of Mobius strip. —J. Hoberman


'The universality of Krasznahorkai's vision rivals that of Gogol's Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing.' W.G. Sebald 'An inexorable, visionary book by the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse who inspires comparison with Gogol and Melville. Krasznahorkai's novel is both an anatomy of desolation, desolation at its most appalling, and a stirring manual of resistance to desolation - through inwardness.' Susan Sontag 'A masterpiece of modern European literature. Brilliant, unforgiving, gripping. Essential reading for anyone wishing to comprehend the dark heart of the 20th century.' Alex Preston, author of This Bleeding City 'I fell in love with the fierce, barbed intelligence in his sentences... Krasznahorkai is the kind of writer who at least once on every page finds a way of expressing something one has always sensed but never known, let alone been able to describe.'Nicole Krauss 'Like something far down the periodic table of elements, Krasznahorkai's sentences are strange, elusive, frighteningly radioactive. They seek to replicate the entropic whirl of consciousness itself... Haunting, pleasantly weird and, ultimately, bigger than the worlds they inhabit.'Jacob Silverman, New York Times Book Review 'Regarded as a classic, [Satantango] is a monster of a novel: compact, cleverly constructed, often exhilarating, and possessed of a distinctive, compelling vision... It is brutal, relentless and so amazingly bleak that it's often quite funny. This is an obviously brilliant novel. Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer... The grandeur is clearly palpable.' Theo Tait, Guardian 'Intoxicating and exhilarating, bleak yet beautiful, Satantango is a modern masterpiece that manages to speak both of its time and to transcend it altogether.' Beth Jones, Sunday Telegraph 'This majestic translation finally gives us its inimitable, nightmarish pleasures at first hand.' Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; 1 Tra edition (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811217345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811217347
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll start by confessing that I have written on Krasznahorkai for years and on the basis of The Melancholy of Resistance and his other books, I consider him one of the greatest contemporary writers.

Satantango was Krasznahorkai's first novel, published in 1985 but only translated now into English. I've read Satantango in French but I don't know Hungarian, so I can only say that Szirtes seems to have done as wonderful a job here as he did with Melancholy.

Satantango is the story of a tiny rural Hungarian village and its miserable, static inhabitants. A drunk doctor, a barman, farmers, and a few others have affairs and go about their lives. A certain tragedy strikes, and simultaneously a (very) false prophet named Irimias appears to play havoc in the tragedy's aftermath. It is a simple story, made complex by a precise, nightmarish build-up of small, unsettling details and destabilizing loops of prose that makes you feel like the very basis of reality is falling apart, reflecting the condition of the villagers.

The prose is thick and miasmic, though not as labyrinthine as Krasznahorkai's subsequent work. There is more acute cruelty in this book, in contrast to the sublime chaos that takes over in Melancholy of Resistance. Here is the doctor sitting by his window, watching the others:

"He had had to amass and arrange, in the most serviceable positions possible, the objects indispensable for eating, drinking, smoking, diary-writing, reading and countless other trifling tasks, and even had to renounce allowing the occasional error to go unpunished out of self-indulgence pure and simple."

Those who have a great affection for other voices of chaos and fracture, like Kleist and Kafka and Beckett, should read Krasznahorkai. I would rank him among them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The residents of the "estate" are trying to brew some type of life out of the dregs of their small town. However, life seemingly left that area some time ago. There are those who will hang on forever in a hope that someone will somehow make things like they used to be. This is probably the case in other countries in real life as it is in the fictional one of the Hungary we read about in Satantango.

The same people tell the same stories over and over, even though others could tell the same stories and maybe do it better. Others go through the same routine motions each day/week. You can set your clock/calendar by their actions. Though they want things to change for the better, of course they don't want to be forced to change. To their credit, they lack that particular ability. Their contribution to the world is based on the way things "were" not on the way things "are".

But, salvation is on the way. A savior will come with the solution to their problems, with the cure to their disease, with their futures secured. Unless he is dead. Or was that just a rumor? Or perhaps it was both a rumor and the truth. He is coming, though. Right? Things will be better then. Right?

Unlike "stream of conscience" stories, he seems to write "stream of description" stories. His narrators have to include every possible word, or set of them, that will explain the thoughts and actions of the characters to the reader. It is like the person who breathlessly begins "let me tell you what happened" and minutes later still isn't done but has to stop to gasp in some air before continuing, and continuing, and .... (As in, "Pull up a seat. This may take a while.")

Thus, we enter the minds of the characters and not only hear their spoken words but also read their thoughts. All of them.
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Format: Hardcover
Satantango, starts in some mouldering Hungarian hamlet, the home of the workers of a collective long since closed and stripped of anything of worth, and like the inhabitants of the hamlet forgotten by the outside world. In fact the only growth market appears to be rot and spiders, very little happens here. Within the first few pages we realise that the rot has spread to all and sundry, there is not a single character of worth, all are, to varying degrees, corrupt, paranoid and full of loathing whether of self or of their neighbours. We also learn that they are waiting for Irimias, who may or may not be Satan, not that this matters as these individuals are so deep into the morass of all that's bad about humanity, that Satan would be worried about contamination. The villagers wait at the inn for Irimias, who has been seen on the road heading their way with his sidekick Petrina, which is strange because Irimias, is supposed to be dead. Irimias has the ability to charm and mesmerise all to his way, even those who are deeply suspicious of him, still follow his bidding even parting with the collective's small pot of money. This leads to a series of events that breaks what little bonds they once held and violence erupts, although this is brief as all are so ensnared by Irimias machination, that they can see little else.

In a post,I read it stated that " I felt this book had a lot of central European mythology that has been brought to the modern age and also what makes myths..
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