The World Goes On review – a masterpiece of fear and futility


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “The World Goes On review – a masterpiece of fear and futility” was written by Claire Kohda Hazelton, for The Observer on Sunday 12th November 2017 17.30 Asia/Kolkata

When the celebrated Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai and his translator, George Szirtes, won the Man Booker international prize in 2015, the judges were impressed by his “extraordinary sentences of incredible length”. Here, Krasznahorkai’s famous sentences, often several pages long, again have huge impact, as a fearful God-like narrator tells a series of enigmatic stories marked by a sense of futility and pessimism. In one, a boy faced with a whale confined in a metal box is “initiated… into a state of melancholy”; in another, a man obsessed with waterfalls confronts the abyss of his mind while wandering drunk in Shanghai; and, in the title story, Krasznahorkai considers how the events of 9/11 destroyed the “meaning, power, spaciousness, and precision” of language. This collection – a masterpiece of invention, utterly different from everything else – is hugely unsettling and affecting; to meet Krasznahorkai’s characters, to read his breathless, twisting sentences, is to feel altered.

The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai is published by New Directions (£14.99). To order a copy for £12.74 go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99

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The World Goes On review – a masterpiece of fear and futility - NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).