War & War
Laszlo Krasznahorkai. New Directions Publishing Corporation, $16.95 (279pp) ISBN 978-0-8112-1609-8
Krasznahorkai's second English translation follows Gyrgy Korin, an arguably insane former clerk from outside Budapest who arrives at JFK airport with his life savings in his coat lining, determined to put a manuscript he discovered onto the internet (and thus preserve it for eternity), and then to kill himself. The manuscript's authorship is mysterious, and Korin's narration of its contents resembles his concerns, which he unleashes on unsuspecting strangers: ""We pass things without any idea what we have passed, and he didn't know, said he, whether his companion knew the feeling."" Though Krasznahorkai's sentences can run on for pages, a subversive aim underlies the rambling: many characters who swiftly dismiss Korin as insane, though better at affecting normalcy, are themselves vile. A sudden, brutal murder makes Korin seem more prescient than paranoid. This lucidity, however, is tempered by an epilogue that portrays Korin as more unreliable than anything prior suggests; Krasznahorkai aims for unsettling irresolution and nails it in a way reminiscent of Kafka.
Reviewed on: 04/17/2006
Open Ebook - 978-0-8112-2011-8