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War & War (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – April 17, 2006
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Intrusion: A Novel
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“Krasznahorkai writes with a measured and bizarre elegance…exquisite explorations of consciousness, perception and memory.” (Matthew Spellberg - Harvard Book Review)
“A seminal author of our time.” (David Auerbach - The Quarterly Conversation)
“I love Krasznahorkai's books. His long, meandering sentences enchant me, and even if his universe appears gloomy, we always experience that transcendence which to Nietzsche represented metaphysical consolation.” (Imre Kertész)
Top Customer Reviews
Afterwards I spent time googling reviews and abstracts as I was left wondering if I "got it"; if there was in fact something to get. In reading other very intelligent comments I take comfort in that Krasznahorkai is sufficiently vague allowing broad interpretation and I conclude that there are three main things one needs to be prepared for before delving in; the style, the plot and the "what is he really talking about?".
The style is distinctive and somewhat reminiscent of Thomas Bernhard with long, rambling sentences and characters that are neurotic and likely mad. But I think the differences with Bernhard are more notable. TB takes an idea and works it in a 100 different ways that it tightly wound then he gradually then moves to a second point that is similarly repeated reanalyzed and reinforcing. It's lyrical and I was often left with my jaw down impressed by the way he could look at a subject so many ways and with such great use of language. In my mind looked like balls of twine tightly wound and bunched up and tied again in another ball.
LK is more linear. His rambles are every bit equal to Bernhard and the writing is good (I'll say I like the english translation). The problem is that the reader can lose attention as the sentences do not re-enforce and remind one of the prior passages. If I had to re-read 20% of a TB book I had to re-read 50% or more of "War and War". To combat that I tried every which way to better focus; more coffee, less coffee, no music, soft music, good posture, sprawled out and all kinds of lighting and scenery. But still there were parts where I just accepted to turn the page and hope for the best.Read more ›
The text is dense and intentionally repititive and reminded me, in style, of Thomas Bernhard. The dialogue is sparse and is usually told internally or after-the-fact. However,Krasznahorkai's style, though dark, isn't as black as Bernhard's; there is no railing against Austria or humanity, at least directly.
I enjoyed the book immensely and anyone interested in an original, well-thought story would enjoy the read. I won't say how the book ends or what could be in the 'text' that Korin found at his work.
Krasznahorkai's writing feels ancient. He is an primeval architect of narrative, of perspective, of vast sentences...There are rarely, if ever, direct experiences-- someone, usually Korin, the protagonist, but often the people he runs into, is always speaking to someone else about something that just happened to them. Usually the people he encounters are talking to their friends or husbands or girlfriends a couple days later about how crazy, pathetic, or strangely irresistible Korin ends up being as he spouts his entire story time and again.
There's a great melancholy in the story, too, as most people he speaks to, for pages and hours on end, don't understand a word he is saying as he is trying to communicate his grand realization about the march of history.
Of all the indirecty recounted stories, the one that is most captivating is that of the manuscript he finds, which narrates a story as mysterious, yet strangely irresistible as the larger novel. In fact, much of how Korin describes the manuscript actually describes the novel as a whole.
All that said, this book is not for everyone. It's not light beach reading; it will require the whole of your attention. It's not a book you read in one sitting, or at least it shouldn't be... You will have to take time to think in between sections (each section being one sentence long, with sentence lengths ranging from two lines to seven pages) and chapters. It's not just a narrative-- Krasznahorkai is grappling with some major ideas here.
This book is a future classic. This book is a labyrinth.
It's maddening, it's heartbreaking, and it's beautiful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In parts tedious, in parts engaging, but I fail to see what the conjunction is that gets the parts into a whole. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
Krasznahorkai is a writer of remarkable skill, as is the translator, George Szirtes. As you might glean from other reviews, the novel concerns a present day character called Korin,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Vladimir Estragon
This book changed the direction I was going when I was writing my novel, Ari Figue's Cat. I went back to the beginning and set out to rediscover the trace I had found and abandoned... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jacob Russell
you have to love Krasznahorkai, and t if you do , this is a very intense book.Published 21 months ago by Dr Doran
Another major Kraznahorkai novel, this time located in the urban terrain of New York, where a former archivist and melancholic, Korin, has settled to translate and archive a... Read morePublished on May 2, 2014 by Steiner
I am a relative new comer to Hungarian literature. I must say it has surprised me in a very positive way. This book is excellent. Read morePublished on December 11, 2013 by Juan Pablo Martese
Other reviews give an idea of the book's plot--and its power . . .
There aren't many works of fiction I've read--not since childhood, anyway--that left me feeling that... Read more
'War & War' was, for me, not simply an act of reading literature but also an experience of being stunned after I'd finished it about six months ago. Read morePublished on September 27, 2012 by W. Wilson