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A powerful, surreal novel, in the tradition of Gogol, about the chaotic events surrounding the arrival of a circus in a small Hungarian town. The Melancholy of Resistance, László Krasznahorkai's magisterial novel, depicts a chain of mysterious events in a small Hungarian town. A circus, promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world, arrives in the A powerful, surreal novel, in the tradition of Gogol, about the chaotic events surrounding the arrival of a circus in a small Hungarian town. The Melancholy of Resistance, László Krasznahorkai's magisterial novel, depicts a chain of mysterious events in a small Hungarian town. A circus, promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world, arrives in the dead of winter, prompting bizarre rumours. Word spreads that the circus folk have a sinister purpose in mind, and the frightened citizens cling to any manifestation of order they can find - music, cosmology, fascism. The novel's characters are unforgettable: the evil Mrs. Eszter, plotting her takeover of the town; her weakling husband; and Valuska, our hapless hero with his head in the clouds, who is the tender center of the book, the only pure and noble soul to be found. Compact, powerful and intense, The Melancholy of Resistance, as its enormously gifted translator George Szirtes puts it, "is a slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type." And yet, miraculously, the novel, in the words of The Guardian, "lifts the reader along in lunar leaps and bounds."


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A powerful, surreal novel, in the tradition of Gogol, about the chaotic events surrounding the arrival of a circus in a small Hungarian town. The Melancholy of Resistance, László Krasznahorkai's magisterial novel, depicts a chain of mysterious events in a small Hungarian town. A circus, promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world, arrives in the A powerful, surreal novel, in the tradition of Gogol, about the chaotic events surrounding the arrival of a circus in a small Hungarian town. The Melancholy of Resistance, László Krasznahorkai's magisterial novel, depicts a chain of mysterious events in a small Hungarian town. A circus, promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world, arrives in the dead of winter, prompting bizarre rumours. Word spreads that the circus folk have a sinister purpose in mind, and the frightened citizens cling to any manifestation of order they can find - music, cosmology, fascism. The novel's characters are unforgettable: the evil Mrs. Eszter, plotting her takeover of the town; her weakling husband; and Valuska, our hapless hero with his head in the clouds, who is the tender center of the book, the only pure and noble soul to be found. Compact, powerful and intense, The Melancholy of Resistance, as its enormously gifted translator George Szirtes puts it, "is a slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type." And yet, miraculously, the novel, in the words of The Guardian, "lifts the reader along in lunar leaps and bounds."

59 review for The Melancholy of Resistance

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    László Krasznahorkai, I am nervous. Isn't that ridiculous? I'm actually nervous about writing a review for your novel The Melancholy of Resistance because I just finished scanning through the (few) other reviews on this site and saw that they were mostly perfunctory in their praise, somewhat soulless and academic, and insufficiently rapturous. This is an amazing book! Don't they understand that? When you've heard the word of god (and here it is), you just don't dither around with propriety or th László Krasznahorkai, I am nervous. Isn't that ridiculous? I'm actually nervous about writing a review for your novel The Melancholy of Resistance because I just finished scanning through the (few) other reviews on this site and saw that they were mostly perfunctory in their praise, somewhat soulless and academic, and insufficiently rapturous. This is an amazing book! Don't they understand that? When you've heard the word of god (and here it is), you just don't dither around with propriety or the bone-dry language of theory. You jump up and down and run up to strangers and shake them and slobber and cry and sputter, OMG OMG OMG! And let me reassure you that I am very, very stingy with my enthusiasms and my ecstasies. I'm not Gene Shalit or the Sixty Second Movie Review or some idiot naïf who's floored by the slightest registerable stimulus. This is what this book did to me. It woke me up in the middle of the night last night -- there, on my cheap lacquered IKEA nightstand. It veritably hummed with menace (and intimacy too) and demanded to be finished. It was midnight, or whenever-it-was... because, really, who consults clocks or bothers heeling to their increments when one is summoned -- yes, summoned to follow a course as needful and endemic as one's own pulse? Krasznahorkai enslaved me. There's no better way to put it. I was tempted to say that I was spellbound by the novel -- which is true, I guess, but doesn't go far enough or address the muscularity of the novel's powers. Spells (in the vernacular) are airy and fantastic, but slavery is more consciously willful. You can feel the master's force and bearing in every word. This isn't the vague twilight of spells, but the fullest night of abjection. Krasznahorkai, I am yours. Immediately after finishing the final eighty-or-so pages, in the middle of the night, I had to start re-watching the film based on (or inspired by) the novel, Béla Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies, because how can you just nod off to sleep after you’ve been so dominated and terrorized by a novel? You can’t. There’s so much to think through, and the intensity does not easily yield to the evenness that sleep requires. Even though Krasznahorkai cowrote the screenplay of Werckmeister with Tarr -- and it is a good film -- it is (sad to say) lacking even as an homage to the book or its strange, all-consuming power. Tarr fails at capturing the menace or properly defining his characters. We are on such intimate terms with the characters in the novel that it comes as a rude shock that Valuska, the protagonist (played by a very Klaus Kinski-ish actor), is reduced to the status of mere cipher in the film. He seems to have no substance specifically belonging to himself. The other characters don’t fare much better as Tarr obsesses on their uncanniness rather than their humanity. But back to the book, for a moment. I’ve failed to reveal a thing about it and only alluded to or attempted to suggest its strength. I must confess that I’ve been avoiding dealing with the brute matter of the novel because abstracted as such, it's not a very persuasive enticement. The novel is the story of the end of the world, in a way, by way of acknowledging that the world will persist, linger, drag on even after its raison d’être, its motivations, its meaning have collapsed. Valuska is an ‘idiot’ in the Dostoyevskian sense -- a young idealist still open-mouthed in his wonder at the world -- no, at the whole universe. As expected, his ‘purity’ is the subject of confusion, some admiration, but mostly ridicule and contempt. Even at the brink of civilization’s disintegration, he is invested with a passion and optimism that condemns him as the fool. His Hungarian hometown has been taken over by ‘strange’ happenings [or are they really so strange?] that the suspicious townspeople interpret as omens of terrible things to come. The culminating symbol is the arrival of a circus that scarcely deserves that name, since it seems to include only two exhibits: a giant, preserved whale in a truck trailer and a mysterious unseen Prince, deformed and rumored to reign over or impel the sinister happenings in the town… such as the arrival of hundreds of sullen men, followers of the circus, who wait, speechless, in the town square in small huddles. Waiting for what, exactly? The townspeople stay indoors and expect the worst -- some sort of provincial apocalypse, perhaps. But does the Prince bring about the mob’s menace and its chilling denouement or is he merely a convenient outside force on which to blame the worst impulses of mankind?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Intelligent, strange and hypnotic, with a slow burning atmosphere of cold fear and impending catastrophe, this completely tears the rule book to shreds and throws the pieces back at you with the most unconventional, extraordinary and EPIC! sentence structuring that I have ever come across that has left me scratching my head thinking...just how on earth!. So under the bleak winter skies of a small decaying Hungarian town where the only colour that seems to be apparent is one of grey, as thick fog Intelligent, strange and hypnotic, with a slow burning atmosphere of cold fear and impending catastrophe, this completely tears the rule book to shreds and throws the pieces back at you with the most unconventional, extraordinary and EPIC! sentence structuring that I have ever come across that has left me scratching my head thinking...just how on earth!. So under the bleak winter skies of a small decaying Hungarian town where the only colour that seems to be apparent is one of grey, as thick fog lingers at dawn, stray cats meow down dreary alleyways, rubbish is frozen solid to the ground and the sad townsfolk drag their weary bodies around passing abandoned vehicles left to rot in the streets (not to sound to stereotypical but the old Eastern Bloc does spring to mind), we follow a small group of residents mainly the helpful but week minded Valuska who has a number of odd jobs including delivering mail and taking hot meals to older locals. It doesn't take long to realize that for Valuska in particular life is just an existence and the people cling to anything for a way of escapism for example music and...er...cosmology. But fear not as a circus has entered town, so maybe some laughter and light entertainment for these poor souls is here at last?...that couldn't be any further from the truth as you will find no trapeze artists, lion tamers or clowns here, for our main attraction is the carcass of the world's largest whale and a mysterious figure known only as 'The Prince' who may or may not have sinister ulterior motives planned. As the simple townsfolk fail to grasp the intentions of their new guests it's not long before gossip spreads and the town is gripped by panic and dread as a large mob of followers have congregated in the town square, huddled around fires in small groups, and with menace in their eyes, they patiently wait...for soon they will participate in an event with only one thing on their minds, total and complete anarchy and destruction, although for some locals they knew this day was always around the corner and that the last day on earth is finally upon them. László Krasznahorkai has been very clever and deceptive here as on the one hand we have an immensely sad and disturbing work, but delve a little deeper under the blanket of doom and actually it should not be taken as seriously as it first appears, and what maybe we also have here is a darkly comic satire concerning social decline, law and order, and the ideology of fascism. Krasznahorkai and Béla Tarr seem to be a match made in heaven as after the seven hour marathon of mud, rain, misery and cow fields that was 'Satantango', Tarr completely nailed an out and out masterpiece with his film adaptation of this 'The Werckmeister Harmonies that I personally think is even better than the novel for two simple reasons, the haunting and devastatingly beautiful score by Mihaly Vig and Tarr's black and white vision of desolation. But take nothing away from the novel as it's a masterclass of melancholic power, and this will no doubt be the most devastatingly bleak novel I will read this year!

  3. 4 out of 5

    °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ

    Στο ερώτημα: πρέπει να εναντιωθούμε, να αντιπαλέψουμε την καταστροφή του κόσμου -έστω συνειδησιακά- ή να απολαύσουμε με κρυφή λαχτάρα τη μελαγχολία της εντροπίας χωρίς καμία αντίσταση -αφού τη στιγμή που αρχίζει η διαδικασία αποσύνθεσης δεν μπορούμε να επέμβουμε,η κατάσταση είναι μη αναστρέψιμη, και όλα θα ξαναρχίσουν απο το μηδέν. Η απάντηση είναι σίγουρα πολυδιάστατη και απευθύνεται σε όσους πιστεύουν στην χαμένη ιερότητα της ανθρωπότητας,σε αναθέματα, κατάρες,αρχέγονους φόβους, άγρια ένστικτα Στο ερώτημα: πρέπει να εναντιωθούμε, να αντιπαλέψουμε την καταστροφή του κόσμου -έστω συνειδησιακά- ή να απολαύσουμε με κρυφή λαχτάρα τη μελαγχολία της εντροπίας χωρίς καμία αντίσταση -αφού τη στιγμή που αρχίζει η διαδικασία αποσύνθεσης δεν μπορούμε να επέμβουμε,η κατάσταση είναι μη αναστρέψιμη, και όλα θα ξαναρχίσουν απο το μηδέν. Η απάντηση είναι σίγουρα πολυδιάστατη και απευθύνεται σε όσους πιστεύουν στην χαμένη ιερότητα της ανθρωπότητας,σε αναθέματα, κατάρες,αρχέγονους φόβους, άγρια ένστικτα, καταστάσεις βυθισμένες σε τέλματα συναισθηματικών τραυμάτων και ιδιοτελών μικροπρεπειών. Ομολογουμένως όλοι πιστεύουμε πως όλα αυτά έχουν ζωτική σημασία, αλλά προσωπικά θεωρώ όχι αναγκαστικά κάποιο νόημα. Ξεκινώντας με την υπόθεση του βιβλίου τα βασικά χαρακτηριστικά του είναι η αποδόμηση των πάντων, η κατάθλιψη, η αδράνεια, ο φόβος για το επερχόμενο αόριστο κακό, η καταστροφή, η ωμή βία,η στρατιωτική κατάληψη, η εχθρότητα,το ατομικό συμφέρον. Στη θέση του Θεού του σύμπαντος βρισκεται το Χάος και στη θέση της τάξης των πραγμάτων - τυχαίας ή νέας- η πλήρης αταξία. Σε μια μικρή Ουγγρική πόλη στα παγωμένα Καρπάθια έχει ενσκύψει μια διαρκώς επικείμενη καταστροφή αόριστη, ανεξήγητη, ακατονόμαστη. Η άφιξη ενός τσίρκου στην αποδομημένη πόλη έχει βασικά εκθέματα το ταριχευμένο κουφάρι μιας φάλαινας και έναν άνδρα με τρία μάτια, ο οποίος ενσαρκώνει αόριστα τον πρίγκιπα του σκότους και της κακοδαιμονίας. Το παραδοξο μυστήριο των εκθεμάτων σε συνάρτηση με την νεκρή πόλη όπου τίποτα δε λειτουργεί, τρομοκρατεί εντελώς τους κατοίκους. Όλη η κοινωνία είναι βυθισμένη στο σκοτάδι της δυσπραγίας και καθημερινά μεγαλώνει ο όγκος των νεκρών μυαλών, των κενών ψυχών, των έρημων δρόμων,των απορριμμάτων υλικής και πνευματικής δυσωδίας. Το βιβλίο υπερογκώνεται απο τη βαθιά μελαγχολία, την έλλειψη αντίστασης και την υπνωτιστική μετακαταστροφική ατμόσφαιρα. Ο συγγραφέας κουράζει υπερβολικά με τα γιγαντιαία κεφαλαία, τις τεράστιες παραγράφους που περιέχουν άλλες μικρότερες για να σχηματίσουν ένα κειμενικό πλαίσιο. Το πλαίσιο αυτό γίνεται βαρύ αφού εμπεριέχει και μεγάλες ρεαλιστικές περιγραφές, φιλοσοφία για τη φιλοσοφία, καθώς επίσης "χιλιοειπωμένους"εσωτερικούς μονόλογους. Το κύριο αρνητικό μέρος του βιβλίου είναι οι δοκιμιακές περιγραφές σχετικά με την αρμονία της μουσικής και τη βιοχημεία της σαπίλας. Εκτεταμένες πολιτικές αναφορές με εμμονικό χαρακτήρα στα ολοκληρωτικά καθεστώτα και κάποιες όμορφες στιγμές - ευτυχώς- συγκινητικών συναισθηματικών αναφορών. Το συμπέρασμα έγκειται στην αφανή περίοδο που μετά την αδράνεια και την ησυχία έρχεται η ανασυγκρότηση ή η σήψη!!! Καθώς επίσης και στο επικό πανανθρώπινο μήνυμα της οικειοποίησης και της βιωσιμότητας. Ο κόσμος θα ναι πάντα ίδιος, δεν θα αλλάξει ποτέ. Η αλλαγή πρέπει να έρθει απο το προσωπικό αίσθημα ευθύνης του κάθε ατόμου,την εμπειρία της ύπαρξης και την εσωτερική στάση του ανθρώπου απέναντι στον κόσμο. Μοναδικές απαντήσεις σε κοσμοϊστορικά ερωτήματα που έχουν αποδώσει όμως πρώτα και με κλασική παραδοσιακή λογική ο Κάφκα και ο Μπέκετ. ( ίσως και πολλοί άλλοι,λιγότερο κουραστικά) Στις τελευταίες σελίδες έχασα κάθε θετική άποψη που είχα με δυσκολία σχηματίσει για τον συγγραφέα. Ο λόγος είναι το δοκίμιο για τη σήψη ως αιτία πολλαπλής οργανικής ανεπάρκειας. Ακόμη και ως αλληγορικό μέσο με ξεπέρασε. Το κείμενο βρίθει αναλυτικών φαινομένων βιοχημείας της σήψης με πλούσιες και σημαντικές χημικές ουσίες μηχανισμών ενεργοποίησης και ρυθμιστικών παραγόντων δυσλειτουργίας και οξείδωσης, που τεχνικά μόνο ειδικούς πτυχιούχους μπορεί να γοητεύσει. *** Αφιερωμένο σε σένα, που με ενημέρωσες κάπως αργά σχετικά με την αναγνωστική απόλαυση που ΔΕΝ θα μου προσέφερε το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο. Αρχικά, το αρνήθηκα. Τελικά, πάλι δίκιο είχες. Καλή ανάγνωση. Πολλούς ασπασμούς.

  4. 4 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    I read The Melancholy of Resistance back in early October and it still haunts me months later. Krasznahorkai creates a dark allegorical novel that is saturated with dread and overflowing with malice as he depicts a city overrun by strange happenings and menacing mobs of strangers during the icy winter. Even if you were to read this on a warms summers day, he would make you feel as if the world outside your window was frozen over and treacherous. This novel deserves a more wide-spread critical ac I read The Melancholy of Resistance back in early October and it still haunts me months later. Krasznahorkai creates a dark allegorical novel that is saturated with dread and overflowing with malice as he depicts a city overrun by strange happenings and menacing mobs of strangers during the icy winter. Even if you were to read this on a warms summers day, he would make you feel as if the world outside your window was frozen over and treacherous. This novel deserves a more wide-spread critical acclaim and its infectious nature has lead me to recommend it to nearly everyone I know, and now I am recommending it to you. Krasznahorkai employs a nearly opaque style of loquacious, dense prose, penning beautiful long sentences with no breaks. The whole novel reads as only a handful of paragraphs. Like a train, this dense prose starts to slowly pull away and the novel picks up a frightening momentum as the reactionary chain of event pushes forward on pure dreadful inertia towards an apocalyptic-like resolve. You will not be able to stop once you the momentum has picked up; this novel will have such a hold on your mind that you will be compelled to drop everything and keep reading. The reader is strapped to this and watches it all unfold in nearly real-time. It is no surprise that Bella Tar's film portrayal is built with a mere thirty nine long flowing camera shots as the novel seems to follow along the characters without ever blinking or breaking the slow grinding pace. We watch a woman ride a train, return home and be visited by Mrs. Eszter, then the 'camera' of language follows Eszter from this scene, home, through the entire evening, hovering about her room as she sleeps, and far into the next day before there is ever a break from the constant flow of the scene. Krasznahorkai's ability to keep this up and maintain an even, continuous flow is highly impressive. I understand the comparison to Herman Melville that this novel receives, and it goes beyond the mere fact that both are allegorical tales surrounding a large whale. Krasznahorkai's verbose style is as eloquent as Melville and both maintain a fluent vocabulary that will keep a dictionary by your side. Fyodor Dostoyevsky is another author used for comparison with this novel, which also has merit. While the two authors style of writing is quite varied, their use of characters flows in a similar vein. Like the great Dostoevsky, the characters in Melancholy are often used to represent a specific idea, value, or force of nature. This is not a detractor of the characters however, as they are fully fleshed out and multidimensional and exist in a realistic sense appropriate and fitting to the world of the novel. There are many characters, each one a bit bizarre and frayed by the world, but each offers an insightful look into their humanity. The philosophical musings that furnish the story are the real meat of this novel. Krasznahorkai has some very brilliant and occasionally controversial ideas that he is compelled to tell you, and the reader will soon realize this novel is an allegory for his philosophical thoughts on existence. In his world, order and chaos, creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin and must coexist in a proper balance. Krasznahorkai shows how all is meant to end in chaos and destruction eventually and to try and deny this is futile and foolish. Yet this is what allows for creation and rebirth. He even shows how biology is wired for its own destruction after death in a brilliant, highly medical descriptive fashion. All his discussions of heavenly bodies in space begs the question, is there a natural order, or are we all spinning at random and merely victims of empty chance and reaction. The question of faith is brought up and Krasznahorkai shakes some ideas loose upon the reader. There is an excellent passage where this question is brought about through the metaphor of musical theory. It is easily understandable by all, but a bit of knowledge of music theory and research into theory and classical composition will shed light on Krasznahorkai's stunning intellect. Also, the idea of power is a overarching theme here. This is an incredible novel, although it should be noted that it is a bit dense and difficult and isn't a quick read. Krasznahorkai is a verbal virtuosos and this should be read if only to view his ability with language and to marvel at how seemingly effortlessly he maintains a constant, unblinking flow through the few days that make up this novel. There is plenty to read into in here, as the whole novel can be taken as allegory and you will have much to ponder for days to come. Months later I still think about this book and have revelations into its meaning. The Melancholy of Resistance is a frightening look into the world, but is at times laugh out loud funny as it pokes at humanity and the ridiculousness of it all. Please find and read this novel, Krasznahorkai should be much wider read than he is. 4/5

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Interesting, complicated - with the strangest death scene I ever read in the end, and that says a lot, as I must have read about thousands of characters' dying by now. Strange how death is the omnipresent master of so many books, the spider spinning the web of the story to a perfect, deadly trap. That is a disturbing thought, actually, worthy of the nightmarish atmosphere the novel creates. A threatening, surreal setting, hard to grasp, with equally evasive characters, and it left me puzzled. It Interesting, complicated - with the strangest death scene I ever read in the end, and that says a lot, as I must have read about thousands of characters' dying by now. Strange how death is the omnipresent master of so many books, the spider spinning the web of the story to a perfect, deadly trap. That is a disturbing thought, actually, worthy of the nightmarish atmosphere the novel creates. A threatening, surreal setting, hard to grasp, with equally evasive characters, and it left me puzzled. It is one of those books I need to read at least one more time, as I am at a loss what to think. Or maybe someone could explain it to me? I am blonde, after all... I loved it despite not getting it, which is as close as I will ever get to understanding what drives religious people, I guess. Can you recommend a book that you only vaguely understood? Yes!

  6. 5 out of 5

    William2

    I have to give this another go. The first cycle didn't finish. Here's my original review: I was really enjoying this. The prose is a little dense, and there's no question that the author has a penchant for abstraction, as seen in the musings of the musicologist; but there is also wry humor and elegant surrealism, deftly handled. The opening sequence of the elderly Mrs. Plauf going into hysterics on the train is hilarious. As we move from character (Mrs Eszter) to character (Valushka), the story I have to give this another go. The first cycle didn't finish. Here's my original review: I was really enjoying this. The prose is a little dense, and there's no question that the author has a penchant for abstraction, as seen in the musings of the musicologist; but there is also wry humor and elegant surrealism, deftly handled. The opening sequence of the elderly Mrs. Plauf going into hysterics on the train is hilarious. As we move from character (Mrs Eszter) to character (Valushka), the story deepens. We see, or feel we do, their every ratiocination. I don't want to give away the fun so I'll just say that in a trice the story turns from an almost lighthearted tale to one in which we have to wonder if we aren't heading for a meeting with our maker, or ultimate darkness, or enlightenment. Call it what you will. The setting is Budapest but you only know that through mention of various landmarks. The city itself is never named. Then at about page 200 we hit this turgid wall of philosophical musing, by the musicologist again, and it stops us dead; and try as we might, we cannot, even after successive tries, move beyond it. We long for the joys of narrative pleasure. What makes a writer think he or she can abandon the reader even for a moment? A friend here on GR has a shelf called "seduced and abandoned." Thus I file this one. Recommended with reservations.

  7. 4 out of 5

    brian

    2001. Anthology Film Archives. (one of the great places on the planet: i swear that when one studies taken-from-space photographs a faint heavenly light emanates from manhattan -- if one were to push further in, she'd see that most of it originates from the southeast corner of 2nd ave & 2nd st) a hungarian film the smart people at the newyorkpress raved about. i bought a ticket and dropped into one of those dreadful foldable chairs, fought off the stink of mold and time, and looked back to see r 2001. Anthology Film Archives. (one of the great places on the planet: i swear that when one studies taken-from-space photographs a faint heavenly light emanates from manhattan -- if one were to push further in, she'd see that most of it originates from the southeast corner of 2nd ave & 2nd st) a hungarian film the smart people at the newyorkpress raved about. i bought a ticket and dropped into one of those dreadful foldable chairs, fought off the stink of mold and time, and looked back to see richard hell stroll in wearing pajamas & sneakers under a peacoat. yeah, that's right. theater was empty save me and the jewboy who invented the ripped shirt and 'blank generation' -- those were the days when i fancied myself some kinda punkrocker, i'd spend massive amounts of time chugging whiskey and thrashing around to ramones & bad brains & new order in low-ceilinged bars, hoovering coke in various dumpy bathrooms, receiving limpdicked blowjobs from stoned girls and boys, etc etc, and i kinda felt that i hadda talk to monsieur hell afterwards, offer to buy the talented bastard a beer under the pretense of discussing the film we'd just seen, and pull outta him all his great nyc-in-the-70s stories we've all heard, yes, too many times... well, quickly into the film's first (loooooooooong) opening shot, i forgot all about richard hell and by the time the movie was done, i was quite the mess. one of the very few times i've been totally shut the fuck up. didn't wanna talk to r. hell, didn't wanna get a beer, didn't wanna do anything but wander the city in a daze trying to put it all together. and i've never re-seen werckmeister harmonies as i don't wanna ruin that initial experience, don't wanna see it in my comfortable bourgeois apartment on my 46' flatscreen and have it be dragged down by a pair of jaded and considerably more comfortable, less interesting, eyes. well... ten years later i'm at the bar of the beverly hills hotel and the indian guy sitting next to me lists his 3 favorite writers as borges, bernhard, and krasznahorkai -- the latter, he explains, wrote the novels which were the source material for tarr's films. now, what the fuck. how've i never heard of this guy? seeing as how werckmeister is one of the 5 best films of the last decade* and this guy's obviously got good taste, i immediately take my cocktail out into the lobby, call up that midwestern polish bastard, and i dish... * if yer interested, here's the list, in no particular order: 1. werckmeister harmonies (bela tarr) 2. you, the living (roy andersson) 3. mulholland drive (david lynch) 4. 2046 (kar wai wong) 5. inglourious basterds (quentin tarentino) seeing as how that polish bastard has gotta get his (veiny, tiny, purple) penis into everything before me, he bought and read that shit immediately. but his dryhump for this extremely humpworthy novel is better than i could've done and he lives in south bend, so i'll let him have this one. read: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... but i must include a few words for those morons still teetering on the edge of reading this thing: do it! this novel is a revelation. one which takes as its subject the very acts of creation and destruction, the incomprehensibility of the universe (and learning to accept and deal with this horrible fact), the subjectivity of experience, the hidden nature of all things alive and inanimate... and surpasses expectations. this book did for me at 36 yrs what dostoyevsky did 20 years prior. here we have one of the great pessimists who, like ol' dusty, can write the bleakest stuff imaginable that demands not only severe existential angst, but also giant rolling swells of laughter. check it: "…Straightening up and walking on two legs therefore, my dear friend, are the symbolic starting points for our ugly historical progress, and, to tell you the truth, I am not hopeful that we regularly waste any slight chance we might have of that, as, for example, in the case of the moon landings, which, in their time, might have pointed to a more stylish farewell, and which made a great impression on me, until, soon enough, Armstrong and the others having duly returned, I had to admit the whole thing was only a mirage and my expectations vain, since the beauty of every single - however breathtaking - attempt was in some way marred by the fact these pioneers of the cosmic adventure, for reasons wholly incomprehensible to me, having landed on the moon and realized that they were no longer on earth, failed to remain there." but make no mistake: krasznahorkai might have a sense of humor about all that wonderful misanthropy, but this is grim grim stuff. here we find a world of pure dread, a world at the end of its tether, a world whose only prevailing force is entropy, a world of decay and horror, a mankind whose default position is fascism and violence, a microcosmic view of the cosmos in the form of an unseen & deformed figure called The Prince who, with his traveling circus (and stuffed whale corpse), compels a town to turn on itself (or does he?), to partake in the ultimate act of creation: mass destruction. and at the heart of this extraordinary thing are a series of dialectically, head-explodingly, pants-crappingly, rip-out-your-spiningly epiphanies by the two lead characters that'll do all of the above. do yourself a favor, jackass, and read this book. ASAP.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This not your laid back summer beach read. Don’t even think of attempting this on a train, a plane, a park, a doctor’s office or anywhere where you won’t be able to focus completely and fall face first into this absurd Hungarian nightmare. With about three paragraphs in the entire 300 pages, and just a smattering of sentences (I’m exaggerating, but not by much), Melancholy seemed to gush out of Krasznahorkai like a drunken folklore told over a campfire in the darkest pit of a forest. The first sev This not your laid back summer beach read. Don’t even think of attempting this on a train, a plane, a park, a doctor’s office or anywhere where you won’t be able to focus completely and fall face first into this absurd Hungarian nightmare. With about three paragraphs in the entire 300 pages, and just a smattering of sentences (I’m exaggerating, but not by much), Melancholy seemed to gush out of Krasznahorkai like a drunken folklore told over a campfire in the darkest pit of a forest. The first seventy or so pages were probably the best voyeuristic writing I’ve ever had the joy to read. We simultaneously pull up a chair inside the head of a self-conscious woman riding a train while also hanging out with the fly on the wall of her apartment. If nothing else, I encourage you to read part one and treat it as a short story. Reflective, ripe with frantic tangents and supremely dark and eerie, Melancholy is for the thinkers, the sky gazers and the carny groupies.

  9. 5 out of 5

    BlackOxford

    The Normality Of Chaos Paragraph-length sentences; chapter-like paragraphs, book-length chapters; and a very different kind of stream of consciousness constituted not by random events but by the intentions which are interrupted or thwarted by these events. The events are only noticed because that is precisely what they do. They disrupt routine, inhibit political ambition, prevent family union, prevent family dissolution, and frustrate announced national purpose. This is the central theme of Melanc The Normality Of Chaos Paragraph-length sentences; chapter-like paragraphs, book-length chapters; and a very different kind of stream of consciousness constituted not by random events but by the intentions which are interrupted or thwarted by these events. The events are only noticed because that is precisely what they do. They disrupt routine, inhibit political ambition, prevent family union, prevent family dissolution, and frustrate announced national purpose. This is the central theme of Melancholy, suffering. Everyone suffers the consequences of their desires. The universality of suffering depicted is worthy of Emil Cioran or Thomas Ligotti. Everyone is their own worst enemy, being driven mad by the desire for the world, particularly other people, to be other than it is. The nexus of these divergent desires is disaster, seemingly inescapable suffering. Inexplicably, the more they suffer, the more they commit to their desires. In the midst of this suffering arrives a whale, billed by its circus attendants as The Biggest Whale In The World. The whale - or its carcass - is accompanied by “signs and omens,” the inexplicable events that are so disconcerting and threaten the disintegration of each individual world of desire. The whale also suffers, more acutely than any other creature since it is caged in a steel aquarium into which its ‘followers’ have consigned it. The whale suffers, in other words, for the desires of others. Whether the whale refers to the Buddha or to Christ - perhaps to both - or to other suffering gods of myth and legend is open to interpretation. What is relevant to the story is that it is a symbol of the train-wreck of not human nature but rather human civilisation as the diversity of ambitions, goals, ideals, and aspirations intersect. The remedy for this condition is not to be found even in religion, worship of the whale, since such devotion merely adds to the sum total of diverse desires... as well as the death of the whale. In the end, some desires are furthered, others are not. But this is temporary. There is no equilibrium of desire, just arbitrary points from which to expose its persistence. Resistance is not just futile, it also adds to the problem. Hence the associated feeling of anxious sadness. Postscript: Melancholy might be considered as a worked-out literary example of the Impossibility Theorem formulated by the economist Kenneth Arrow in 1950. According to this theorem, any situation requiring group consensus among people with even slightly different utility functions (that is, desires) will result in a further situation which all can temporarily accept but which none want. See here for further elucidation: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    1.5 stars. You can't even imagine how rare my decision to postpone a review is : I usually rate and review the books I read immediately, for better or for worst. The Melancholy of Resistance was different. Indeed my first reaction after closing this novel was, What the Fuck did I just read? Huh? I was so lost between my excitation during the first 30% and the boredom I felt after - in addition to some side-eying (I'll come back to that) - that I left my rating blank on Goodreads and gave myself so 1.5 stars. You can't even imagine how rare my decision to postpone a review is : I usually rate and review the books I read immediately, for better or for worst. The Melancholy of Resistance was different. Indeed my first reaction after closing this novel was, What the Fuck did I just read? Huh? I was so lost between my excitation during the first 30% and the boredom I felt after - in addition to some side-eying (I'll come back to that) - that I left my rating blank on Goodreads and gave myself some weeks to think about what I wanted to say. Sometimes time helps highlighting what emotion won, and in this case, it's not pretty. A month after, having reread both the parts that I first liked and those I wish haven't been there in the first place, I can push The Melancholy of Resistance out of the books I would recommend reading. I would most definitely not, and here's why : ➊ Now the only thing that lingers in my mind is the utter confusion - and boredom - I felt 80% of the time. Look, I won't deny that I found some parts beautiful and enthralling, yet they were too rare to overtake the overall annoyance. To be completely honest, I think that the first time I breathed through it to get to the ending, mainly to see if I could find something to like again (having liked the beginning), but I didn't. During the last month I reread most of it, and I can't even count the number of times I just shook my head in disbelief because of the page-long parts that did not make any sense. What The Melancholy of Resistance is : good openings and endings, with loads of useless bullshit in the middle. And the middle feels very, very long because it's so. damn. stretched. I mean, there's only so many musings I can take, and if a few political ones don't bother me - but rather interest me, pages and pages revolving around unintelligible ones (about music, about life, about freaking EVERYTHING) for no reason whatsoever I cannot stand. ➋ I stated in my first review on Goodreads that "I was very uncomfortable with the fact that one character referred to the crazy rioters as "dark-skinned hooligans" - I did not gather that they were black from the novel (except at this very part), but if that's the case, it's a big no from me : you don't go and assign a race to the 'bad' people. You just don't." At that time I thought I might had misinterpreted it, given that nothing else in the book gave me this impression. Then a friend of mine shared another cover with me : ... and when I reread the book, I did it with this cover in mind. The fact is, what's obvious is that The Melancholy of Resistance is a novel about apocalypse. Always was - I did not understand everything, but this I did. So, tell me, even if the very white Mrs Eszter is the real villain through and through, why feel the need to link the arrival of black people to said apocalypse? Why do they kill and destroy everything on their way? Why are they violent? We never know. They just are, because apparently it's who they are, and excuse me, but that's some kind of BULLSHIT right there. Why haven't I read about that in any review? (and I read tons) This novel has been written in 1989, and many reviewers interpreted it as a social novel, and I mean, sure. I agree. It does express the impossibility of resistance in a totalitarian state - I can see that. Yet. Intend means nothing when black rioters are pictured as "inhuman" in a novel. This will always be incredibly offensive in my book. As always with classics, I try to keep the original period in mind, but I'm reviewing it in 2017. You who are reading my review live in 2017. That's why I cannot accept this more than I would of a contemporary novel. Not if it's not challenged in text, and it never is. The truth is, I don't think for one second that it was acceptable in 1989 either, and I don't care if it wasn't what the author intended. It's THERE, for crying out loud. Not recommended. For more of my reviews, please visit:

  11. 5 out of 5

    foteini_dl

    Ο κύριος λόγος που αγάπησα αυτό το βιβλίο, και κατ' επέκταση τον Κραζναχορκάι, είναι το ότι η γραφή του συγγραφέα αντανακλά πλήρως το πνεύμα του βιβλίου. Εξηγούμαι: ο μακροπερίοδος, απελευθερωμένος από τα δεσμά της στίξης και του χρόνου, και ενίοτε χαοτικός λόγος αντικατοπτρίζει τον άναρχο, βίαιο και αποσυντιθέμενο κόσμο στον οποίο ζούμε. Εδώ ο συγγραφέας μιλά για την αυθαιρεσία της εξουσίας και την αντίσταση του πνεύματος και της γνώσης απέναντι στο χάος που εμπεριείχε τους κρυστάλλους της τάξη Ο κύριος λόγος που αγάπησα αυτό το βιβλίο, και κατ' επέκταση τον Κραζναχορκάι, είναι το ότι η γραφή του συγγραφέα αντανακλά πλήρως το πνεύμα του βιβλίου. Εξηγούμαι: ο μακροπερίοδος, απελευθερωμένος από τα δεσμά της στίξης και του χρόνου, και ενίοτε χαοτικός λόγος αντικατοπτρίζει τον άναρχο, βίαιο και αποσυντιθέμενο κόσμο στον οποίο ζούμε. Εδώ ο συγγραφέας μιλά για την αυθαιρεσία της εξουσίας και την αντίσταση του πνεύματος και της γνώσης απέναντι στο χάος που εμπεριείχε τους κρυστάλλους της τάξης, το είχε διαλύσει η απαρεμπόδιστη και αδιάφορη κυκλοφορία των διαφόρων στοιχείων που κυβερνούσε το σύμπαν. Και, διάολε, το καταφέρνει με α π ό λ υ τ η επιτυχία. Το λιγότερο (οκ, το μόνο) που μπορώ να κάνω είναι να υποκλιθώ στο μεγαλείο του Κραζναχορκάι. Υ.Γ.: Εσείς που λέτε ότι τα γερμανικά ονόματα είναι σιδηρόδρομοι ξανασκεφτείτε το. Δοκιμάστε να πείτε "Λάσλο Κραζναχορκάι" 2 - 3 φορές σερί, πλάκα έχει.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    I feel that Krasznahorkai is the conscience of our age. A brilliant writer, quickly becoming my favorite contemporary prose writer.

  13. 5 out of 5

    zumurruddu

    “[...] non siamo altro che miseri soggetti di un insignificante fallimento in questo affascinante creato, tutta la storia umana si può riassumere in quattro pietose spacconate, per usare un’immagine efficace, replicate da poveri sciocchi, sanguinari paria, in qualche oscuro angolino dietro le quinte di un immenso palcoscenico, e nella dolorosa ammissione di un errore, nel lento riconoscimento di una verità deprimente: il mondo che abbiamo costruito non ci è riuscito così brillantemente.” Dall’enc “[...] non siamo altro che miseri soggetti di un insignificante fallimento in questo affascinante creato, tutta la storia umana si può riassumere in quattro pietose spacconate, per usare un’immagine efficace, replicate da poveri sciocchi, sanguinari paria, in qualche oscuro angolino dietro le quinte di un immenso palcoscenico, e nella dolorosa ammissione di un errore, nel lento riconoscimento di una verità deprimente: il mondo che abbiamo costruito non ci è riuscito così brillantemente.” Dall’enciclopedia Treccani online: “La melancolia o lipemania è la sindrome affettiva che ha per note fondamentali una tristezza morbosa e ostinata, indipendente dagli avvenimenti esterni, un pessimismo invincibile, un senso profondo di sfiducia e di avvilimento, che paralizza l'azione. Ogni impressione esterna riesce spiacevole, il pensiero s'aggira in una chiusa cerchia d'idee tristi. Dal pessimismo germogliano spesso veri delirî: di colpa, di miseria, di rovina propria e altrui, di rovina universale, d'indegnità, di dannazione [...]” Questo è un romanzo che non credo di aver capito fino in fondo, un romanzo pieno di allusioni, metafore e allegorie, immerse in una narrazione surreale, quasi onirica, sebbene vividissima; ma dopo averci riflettuto, ecco credo che non sia necessario aver capito proprio tutto con certezza per poter affermare che si tratta di un’opera bellissima, capace di lasciare un’impressione forte e duratura, di piantarsi nel cuore e nei sentimenti del lettore. Quello che più mi è piaciuto è sicuramente l’atmosfera cupa e claustrofobica, ottenuta sia con una scrittura sorprendente, dal fraseggiare lungo e incalzante, che fa quasi venire il fiatone durante la lettura, sia per il fatto di riportare pensieri ossessivi e deliri dei personaggi - personaggi tra l’altro delineati alla perfezione benché tutti matti, in varie gradazioni (tranne forse la signora Ezster, calcolatrice, arrivista, avida di potere). Ecco sì, c’è proprio una tristezza morbosa e ostinata attaccata a ogni singola pagina di questo libro, un pessimismo invincibile. Ma anche una lotta tra il caos e la ragione. Mi sono chiesta in effetti il perchè di questo titolo, Melancolia della resistenza, alla melancolia ci arrivo subito, mentre il significato di quella resistenza credo sia da ricercare nella lotta tra la ragione, l’ordine da una lato e quell’entropia che divora il mondo dall’altro - e che ha già vinto, sempre vincerà, lo dice il secondo principio della termodinamica, ma questa non è una buona ragione per non lottare. Perché è sempre possibile una seppur effimera - forse menzognera - armonia. Per questo chi resiste è condannato alla melancolia. Alla pazzia. A essere lo scemo del villaggio, come Valuska, il personaggio che mi ha preso il cuore. O a rinchiudersi in una fortezza di solitudine, come il signor Eszter. Non so dire altro di questo romanzo, che avrebbe bisogno di ben altri commenti e di analisi approfondite. Io non sono in grado di farle, posso solo dirvi: leggetelo, provate. Resistete, resistiamo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT_ji...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laurent

    STAALKAART #35 *** DE MELANCHOLIE VAN HET VERZET, GRANDIOZE ROMAN VAN HONGAARSE MEESTER LÁSZLÓ KRASZNAHORKAI Na 'Satanstango' in 2012 brengt de Wereldbibliotheek nu een tweede roman van de Hongaar László Krasznahorkai op de markt. Ook in 'De melancholie van het verzet' ontleedt en herschikt Krasznahorkai de wereld tot een nieuwe werkelijkheid die onze kijk op de gebruikelijke orde van de dingen - de orde tussen goed en kwaad, zeg maar – danig ondersteboven haalt en ontregelt. Het kaliber van deze STAALKAART #35 *** DE MELANCHOLIE VAN HET VERZET, GRANDIOZE ROMAN VAN HONGAARSE MEESTER LÁSZLÓ KRASZNAHORKAI Na 'Satanstango' in 2012 brengt de Wereldbibliotheek nu een tweede roman van de Hongaar László Krasznahorkai op de markt. Ook in 'De melancholie van het verzet' ontleedt en herschikt Krasznahorkai de wereld tot een nieuwe werkelijkheid die onze kijk op de gebruikelijke orde van de dingen - de orde tussen goed en kwaad, zeg maar – danig ondersteboven haalt en ontregelt. Het kaliber van deze veeleisende mastodont van een roman is evenwaardig duister en bevreemdend als dreigend en ingenieus. LÁSZLÓ KRASZNAHORKAI Toen Krasznahorkai eind 2015 de Man Booker Prize voor zijn hele oeuvre in de wacht sleepte, was hij voor velen nog een nobele onbekende. Nochtans debuteerde de mediaschuwe Hongaar ruim dertig jaar terug met het succesvolle 'Satanstango', werden meerdere van zijn boeken met veel kritische bijval verfilmd door landgenoot en trouwe kunstbroeder Béla Tarr (waaronder ook 'De melancholie van het verzet' onder de titel 'Werckmeister harmóniák') en kan hij rekenen op de onvoorwaardelijke bewondering van een handvol invloedrijke literaire grootheden. Zo noemde Susan Sontag hem “een meester van de Apocalyps” en bombardeerde W.G. Sebald hem tot de “Gogol van het hedendaagse schrijven”. Misschien heeft zijn voor niet-Hongaren moeilijk uit te spreken (én te onthouden) familienaam bijgedragen tot zijn beperkte roem en bekendheid? Hoewel, ook daar valt Krasznahorkai niets te verwijten. Op zijn typerende, droogkomische manier licht hij op zijn website de correcte fonetische uitspraak van zijn naam in een tiental talen toe. Krasznahorkai is mee met zijn tijd: zijn uitgebreid curriculum staat gewoon op zijn site. Hij werd op 5 januari 1954 geboren in Gyula, een stadje in het zuidoosten van Hongarije op 4 kilometer van de Roemeense grens. Zijn vader was een advocaat, zijn moeder werkte als bediende in de sociale zekerheid. Een decennium lang, tussen 1973 en 1983, wijdde hij zich aan hogere studies. Eerst volmaakte hij een rechtenstudie, om nadien te promoveren in de Hongaarse taal- en letterkunde op een eindwerk over Sándor Márai. Hij bekostigde zijn studies door te werken als ‘documentalist’ bij de onafhankelijke uitgeverij Gondolat en verbaasde in 1985 de Hongaarse literaire wereld door als uit het niets op te duiken met 'Satanstango', een virulente dystopische roman waarin hij communistisch Hongarije te kijk zet. Zijn naam in eigen land was meteen gevestigd en tot op vandaag blijft het zijn bekendste roman, mede dankzij Tarrs verbluffende bijna acht uur durende verfilming uit 1994. Tussen 1987 en 1989 verblijft Krasznahorkai met een studiebeurs in Berlijn. Nadien start een lange periode van reizen en rondtrekken: hij verblijft langdurig in China, Mongolië en Japan, reist mee op de langevaart, hangt de bohémien uit in Europese steden als Wenen en Berlijn, maar ook in de VS, waar hij naar verluidt goede vriendjes werd met Patti Smith, David Byrne en Philip Glass én tijdelijk gehuisvest werd door beat koning Allen Ginsberg. Sinds enkele jaren leeft hij een teruggetrokken bestaan in een onooglijk dorpje van nog geen duizend inwoners in het noorden van Hongarije, Szentlászló, waar alle geruchten als zou hij de volgende Nobelprijskandidaat zijn hem duchtig worst wezen. Inmiddels bouwt Krasznahorkai onverstoorbaar verder aan een uniek oeuvre. Hij is geen veelschrijver, maar eerder van het ambachtelijke, eindeloos bijschavende type: op 31 jaar tijd publiceerde hij ‘slechts’ 8 romans en schreef een handvol kortverhalen, scripts en essays. Gezien zijn intense, massieve en compromisloze stijl mag dat geen wonder heten. Zijn romans kenmerken zich immers door een minimale plot en lang uitgesponnen sierlijke zinnen met een afgemeten interpunctie en een geringe aliniëring. In 'Satanstango' bijvoorbeeld bestaat elk hoofdstuk uit één enkele paragraaf en in 2009 stuntte hij met het kortverhaal ‘El último lobo’, dat bestaat uit één zin van achtentwintig pagina’s. Zijn Engelse vertaler George Szirtes spreekt van een “trage narratieve lavastroom, een zwarte uitgestrekte letterrivier.” In 'De melancholie van het verzet' – Krasznahorkais tweede roman, verschenen in 1989 – is dat niet anders. DE MELANCHOLIE VAN HET VERZET De plot van 'De melancholie van het verzet' is moeiteloos samen te vatten in één zin: in een kille novembermaand zet een merkwaardig circus met als enige attractie het opgevulde karkas van een walvis zijn tenten op in een niet nader bepaalde kleine Hongaarse stad en veroorzaakt hierdoor bij de bewoners een grote onrust, die culmineert in een catastrofale uitbarsting van geweld en opstand. Het fenomenale openingshoofdstuk is onvergetelijk, Dostojevskiaans gezien de start in een overvolle trein die door de Hongaarse poesta raast. We beleven die helse rit vanuit het perspectief van de kleinburgerlijke mevrouw Plauf, die doodsangsten uitstaat wanneer een haveloze dronkaard haar onschuldige beweging om haar beha recht te trekken misinterpreteert en haar lastig begint te vallen. Wanneer ze uiteindelijk heelhuids in het stadje aankomt, valt op weg naar huis plots overal de stroom uit en botst ze op een groepje mannen dat amok maakt. Ondertussen paradeert het circus met de walvis op een verlichte praalwagen als een soort Trojaans paard doorheen de donkere straten. De sfeer is onheilspellend, er hangt een enorme dreiging in de lucht. Het kleine opstootje waarvan mevrouw Plauf getuige is, blijkt al snel een voorbode, het omineuze begin van een totale ontketening: onder leiding van de Zarathoestra-achtige doemprofeet De Prins zaait een zootje ongeregeld verderf en dompelt het stadje in een storm van geweld en terreur. In de zes middelste hoofdstukken staan alternerend de andere 3 hoofdpersonages centraal: Valushka, en het koppel meneer en mevrouw Eszter. Valushka, de dromerige zoon van mevrouw Plauf, is niet alleen de brievendrager van het stadje, maar ook het manusje-van-alles van meneer Eszter. Hij wordt aanzien als de mallotige dorpsidioot die op wolken leeft. De vaste klanten in de kroeg entertaint hij met zijn knotsgekke uitbeelding van de beweging van de planeten. Meneer Eszter is de directeur op vervroegde rust van de muziekacademie: sinds zijn mislukt onderzoek over het aantal tonen in een octaaf nodig om tot een zuivere harmonie te komen, zondert hij zich af van de buitenwereld en leeft hij in onmin met zijn echtgenote. Zijn enige toeverlaat en steun is Valushka, met wie hij voortdurend filosofische discussies heeft. De zwaarlijvige, machiavellistische mevrouw Eszter is de gepersonifieerde ‘wil tot macht’: ze maakt misbruik van het oproer en ziet haar kans schoon om het bewind van de gemeenteraad over te nemen. Dat ze de lakens deelt met het hoofd van de politie en later met de kolonel van het leger die de opstand moet stoppen, speelt hierbij in haar voordeel. 'De melancholie van het verzet' omvat een bont allegaartje van genres: het is een onheilspellende allegorie (de walvis, De Prins) en een politiek pamflet (de risico’s van de revolutie), maar ook een duistere ideeënroman (Eszter) en een metafysische parabel (Valushka). Aan de hand van wonderlijk beklijvende streams of consciousness kruipt Krasznahorkai in het hoofd van zijn personages en bouwt een uitgekiend spectrum van sterk uiteenlopende visies en wereldbeelden, handelingen en gebeurtenissen op. Mevrouw Plauf ondergaat, Valushka droomt, meneer Eszter rationaliseert, terwijl zijn echtgenote domineert. Met negen hoofdstukken van rond de veertig bladzijden, lange meanderende zinnen vaak aangedikt met barokke grootsprakerigheid en een opvallende afkeer voor paragrafen biedt de lectuur van 'De melancholie van het verzet' de lezer weinig ademruimte. Bovendien speelt Krasznahorkai in enkele quasi surrealistische passages op meesterlijke wijze met het postmoderne principe van redundantie: het uitvoerige en hilarische stuk waarin Eszter leert hoe hij een hamer moet gebruiken bijvoorbeeld of de laatste vijf pagina’s van het boek die op een wetenschappelijk-afstandelijke manier de ontbinding van het lijk van Plauf beschrijven. Deze fragmenten wisselt Krasznahorkai af met aangrijpende monologues intérieurs, spannende scènes vol actie (het inleidend hoofdstuk, de beschrijving van de revolutie) en filosofische uitweidingen (Eszters harmoniestudies). Maar, dé grote kracht van deze roman zit in de zinsbouw, de rijkdom van de taal. Zelden zal u nog zulke uitgebreide, veelzeggende en perfect geciseleerde zinnen lezen. De grootste lof dus voor de vlotte en natuurlijke vertaling van Mari Alföldy, die er na 'Satanstango', opnieuw met glans in slaagt om de uitzonderlijke energie en vitaliteit van Krasznahorkais taal over te brengen naar het Nederlands, zonder aan kracht of vitaliteit ten aanzien van het origineel te moeten inboeten. 'De melancholie van het verzet' is een overdonderende roman, een weergaloos boek van een van Europa’s grootste schrijvers. Laat ons collectief hopen dat de Wereldbibliotheek nog meer werk van deze sublieme melancholicus aan zijn fondslijst toevoegt. --- 'De melancholie van het verzet' van László Krasznahorkai, vertaald door Mari Alföldy, Wereldbibliotheek, ISBN 9789028426702, 416 pagina’s, € 29,99

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephen P

    I open the covers and am on a train. Noisy and disordered, Mrs. Plauf, a conventional middle class woman returning from her yearly sojourn to visit her disabled and housebound sisters, sits among peasants. The order of the country has been disrupted and trains no longer run on schedule. The class system is blurred and separation of class distinction disintegrating.. She thinks only of returning to her apartment and all the objects within providing her comfort. They are all there and she relaxes I open the covers and am on a train. Noisy and disordered, Mrs. Plauf, a conventional middle class woman returning from her yearly sojourn to visit her disabled and housebound sisters, sits among peasants. The order of the country has been disrupted and trains no longer run on schedule. The class system is blurred and separation of class distinction disintegrating.. She thinks only of returning to her apartment and all the objects within providing her comfort. They are all there and she relaxes until visited by her embarrassment of a son who lives life to study the sky, planets, to talk about the eclipse once witnessed and its meaning. Having no interest in practical life he is scoffed at and in danger of being locked up as insane. His visit is followed by a politically ambitious woman who praises Mrs. Plauf's objects while hypocritically deriding them in her mind. She wants to see who can aid her ambitions. What the people are like. Some in this town enjoy their honest labor and family. Most are wed to a false security where repetition offers them false solace and an illusory safety of security. They readily accept and defend even if objects are reduced to the physics of their contours, the web of practicality, the skein of poetic imagery they contain abandoned. I feel the tension quietly building within the long winding paragraphs I wander. It is not clear if the town's sudden signs of instability arrived out of chance or were delivered from the heated kiln of those with authority. I join the characters in wanting reasons, someone to blame, someone to fix it. Someone to guide me through these paragraphs snaking on for a page or pages with no sign posts. Posters herald a circus coming to town. They will bring strange people to fear. Fear brings action. Action birthed out of fear brings about what the fearful people are afraid of. A rebellion crafted by the authorities to further entrench their hollow and ever growing hunger for power which will never fill the gaping holes inside? Is the circus exactly what is feared? Is it a con-job moving from place to place with its group of hooligans readied to plunder the town before moving on? Beyond the people's fear that any change will only make life worse could the circus be an amphitheater for creation that grows and expands with the innovation of artistic creation? But the endless paragraphs? The wending serpents slime? Here I meet Krasznahorkai. He has come upon a snake. One that coils and hisses. It only know its instinct of being and following itself. Krasznahorkai had different ideas? He has now I believe, as I search my way through another paragraph missing any anchor for me to clutch onto, cleaved onto his own earnestness, honestness, to follow the snake. It winds, slips, slithers in its direction through the paragraphs filled with simple words blending into the kingdom of deeper metaphoric meanings. Krasznahorkai's entire system of beliefs, values, and perceptions of himself and the world, of his art may be threatened. Too late, this is a story of a snake who leaves in its instinct ridden path unmarked paragraphs, leaving me within its pages unsettled. Always unsettled Krasznahorkai knows he has the heart to follow the snake to its end. The questions answered or not, the external strife of power and fear, the internal strife of the artist, the snake will not be fluted in a dance out of a hat. Krasznahorkai has risked it all. Exhausted he has followed the snake to its end. Kept on the trail without the beat of his own stride he is wending with the snake's curls and knowing juts and coils, its dark crawl into the never ending circularity of events, so brisk and innovative during its moments, but already showing its tell-tale signage of repeating that which it just replaced, never ending in its tail-nipped recurrence. I however am left within the waves of paragraphs, not lost but returned, revisited, by the unrolling of their mystified wisdom.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tasos

    Ήξερα ήδη από τα δύο προηγούμενα βιβλία του Κσαρναχορκάι που είχα διαβάσει ότι κρατούσα στα χέρια μου ένα εν δυνάμει αριστούργημα και φυσικά δεν διαψεύστηκα. Οι προτάσεις που ξεκινούν και δεν ξέρεις πότε, πώς και σε τι κατάσταση θα βρουν εσένα και τους ήρωες του βιβλίου όταν τελειώσουν είναι πάλι εδώ, η περιρρέουσα ατμόσφαιρα ενός αμετάκλητου ζόφου επίσης, οι λέξεις μοιάζουν να κουβαλούν το βάρος της καταστροφής του κόσμου, είναι και πάλι όμως η μόνη σανίδα σωτηρίας σε ένα εσχατολογικό σύμπαν, α Ήξερα ήδη από τα δύο προηγούμενα βιβλία του Κσαρναχορκάι που είχα διαβάσει ότι κρατούσα στα χέρια μου ένα εν δυνάμει αριστούργημα και φυσικά δεν διαψεύστηκα. Οι προτάσεις που ξεκινούν και δεν ξέρεις πότε, πώς και σε τι κατάσταση θα βρουν εσένα και τους ήρωες του βιβλίου όταν τελειώσουν είναι πάλι εδώ, η περιρρέουσα ατμόσφαιρα ενός αμετάκλητου ζόφου επίσης, οι λέξεις μοιάζουν να κουβαλούν το βάρος της καταστροφής του κόσμου, είναι και πάλι όμως η μόνη σανίδα σωτηρίας σε ένα εσχατολογικό σύμπαν, ακραία σουρεαλιστικό μέσα στον ρεαλισμό του και το αντίστροφο. Δυσνόητη μέσα στους συμβολισμούς της, η Μελαγχολία της Αντίστασης είναι κάτι παραπάνω από μια αναφορά στον Κάφκα, στον Μπέκετ, στον Μπέρναρντ και στον Μέλβιλ, όπως άλλωστε αναφέρεται και στο οπισθόφυλλο, είναι ένα ειρωνικό παραμύθι για τη σοσιαλιστική δυστοπία, μια πολιτική αλληγορία για το ανέφικτο της επανάστασης και τη νομοτέλεια της καταστολής κάθε μορφής αντίστασης, μια πικρή παραδοχή ότι είμαστε όλοι καταδικασμένοι σε μια "αδιανόητα μακρινή Δίκη, που καταβροχθίζει τα πάντα". Στο τελευταίο κεφάλαιο προσπαθούσα να μαζέψω το σαγόνι μου από το πάτωμα. Υ.Γ1 Συσχετισμούς με την κατάσταση στην Ελλάδα τα τελευταία χρόνια μπορεί να κάνει κανείς κατά βούληση. Υ.Γ2 Απαραίτητο συμπλήρωμα οι Αρμονίες του Βερκμάιστερ του Μπέλα Ταρ.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    There are better reviews than this one to read about this book. Here is one. And another. And a third one. (For those who don't know if they want to click, those link to David's, Brian's and Mariel's reviews). I had very strong feelings of fondness but not love for this book. It would have been a four and a half star book, but it never had that unquantifiable something that pushes a book past the really really like category and into the love category. Maybe I'm just being a superficial bastard There are better reviews than this one to read about this book. Here is one. And another. And a third one. (For those who don't know if they want to click, those link to David's, Brian's and Mariel's reviews). I had very strong feelings of fondness but not love for this book. It would have been a four and a half star book, but it never had that unquantifiable something that pushes a book past the really really like category and into the love category. Maybe I'm just being a superficial bastard and if the book had had paragraphs I would have loved it. Who knows. When I started reading this book on my way to work on Tuesday I was a little tired. When I continued reading it on break I was also feeling tired, and I felt the same way on my subway ride home. My eyes would blur on the pages of unbroken text, and I would lose my place at times as I read the first seventy five pages. At times my mind went into that strange place that borders on being awake and asleep, and the words on the page mixed with barely subconscious thoughts and memories and become something of a mix between personal memory and the story in the book. Even though I'd catch myself and re-read the parts when this would happen I'm still not positive that my memory of the first quarter of the book is very accurate. One of my difficulties with the book (and this isn't a difficulty that would dock a star, but a difficulty meaning something that haunts my thoughts, and probably begs for the book to be re-read at a later point) is putting my finger on what the failure of the two major characters Valuska and Eszter is. I don't mean failure in being characters in the book, because they are not failures at all in that respect, but the moment when each of them experiences their downfall, so to speak. They are both idiots. Valuska is one because the town has decided that he is one with his starry eyed gaze to the heavens and Eszter is one even though he is considered the the town genius who thinks things too lofty for the town to understand. The irony of the way these two characters are viewed by the town is that Valuska's dreamy thoughts are actually grounded in science, although a wide eyed raptured view of the magnificence of just how big and awe-inspiring the world is once you have an idea of some of the reality that is out there beyond the day to day world. Against Valuska's 'idiot' is Eszter who is almost a Derrida like figure who spits out deep and profound pronouncements that are almost entirely abstract from the real world. Eszter lives as a recluse, hiding from the town and the world that he sees as a dismal failure. Not being out on the streets, as Valuska is, everyday gazing up at the sky's like Aristophanes' Socrates Eszter is given respect and people treat his rare public ramblings with respect. The comic figure of Eszter really comes through in a scene where he is trying to board up the windows to his house. He knows that bad shit is about to go down out on the streets and he takes it on himself to barricade himself in his home. For someone who hasn't read this book, the scene is important because for years Eszter hasn't done anything for himself. He lays down all day while a Valuska brings him his food and a woman comes to keep the house in order. Barricading the windows by nailing up boards is a big step for him. The scene begins with him hammering the hand that is holding the nail for the fourth or fifth time. He has beaten his hand to a pulp and he is trying to figure out why he keeps missing the nail. Instead of going about hammering the nail like a normal person would (little taps to drive the nail in to start and then hitting harder when the fingers are no longer in the way) he works out complicated theories based on velocity and arcs and how much attention he should pay to speed and other aspects of what would normally be unconscious in a person who is able to hammer in a nail. Through a painful trial and error he finally hits upon the correct way of doing the task, and rejoices and finds an enjoyment in skillfully wielding a hammer. By the time he stumbles on the correct way to do this task he has beaten his hand to a pulp and gone through a ridiculous series of trial and error that led to the correct result but the method he took to get here is far from correct. We never see Valuska hammering in a nail but I imagine he wouldn't have to almost break his left hand in figuring out how to do this relatively simple task. A moment comes later in the book where Eszter sees how ridiculous he has been and in that realization he sets out to find and save Valuska. It is only at this moment that he goes from being a comical idiot figure to being tragic. His own self-awareness coincides with his downfall. His story ends with him tuning a piano from an obscure tuning system to the conventional 12 tone Werckmeister one so that he can sit down and play some Bach. He's returned from the world of his own making of abstract thoughts that might have been clever but didn't necessarily have any relevance to the real-world to the real-world but he is now a totally marginalized figure that is locked away as an embarrassing relic of the past. Valuska has a similar downfall when he stops gazing up at the stars and 'buckles down' to the real world. When he begins to be concerned with what is 'important' to everyone else is when his own failure takes place (one has to wonder about the small act that ultimately leads to his fate at the end of the book really does point to a certain idiocy of his, that maybe everyone had been right about him all along). Long before this happens though there is a scene where he takes Eszter out of his house on a mission for Eszter's wife. Eszter is appalled while walking at the amount of garbage that is piled on the streets. Before this scene the garbage isn't mentioned. When the scene is shown through Valuska's eyes the reader learns that it is on this walk that Valuska turns his gaze which is normally fixed on the lofty view of the sky and is aware for the first time at all the rubbish and trash that is piled on the streets. He hides his own knowledge of this from Eszter by continuing to ramble on as he had been up until this point but in his thoughts he is ashamed to discover the squalor of the town he spends so much time walking around but hadn't actually been noticing up until this point. I don't know exactly why I described this scene, it's part of what makes the character of Valuska difficult for me, something that eludes me about him. I wonder if he had kept his eyes on the heavens if things would have turned out better for him, if his own awareness that he didn't have to be the town idiot and he could think like everyone else doomed him to his own fate. Returning to an Aristophanes allusion, if Valuska had kept starring up at the heavens would he have been able to see the tortoise shell that was falling straight for his head? The part of both of these characters that disturbs me is that there is no easy answer about what their downfall was. Each were doomed when they left their own ivory towers but the way that they each were prior to becoming like everyone else was just as problematic. Maybe when I watch the film version this weekend some of my thoughts will become a bit more substantial. Probably not though. I think eventually I'll need to return to this strange and haunting book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kaggelo

    Μετα το συγκλονιστικο Πολεμος και πολεμος οι προσδοκιες ηταν πολυ μεγαλες οι οποιες ομως επαληθευτηκαν στο επακρο. Αλλο ενα μεγιστο επιτευγμα απο τον Ουγγρο συγγραφεα η γραφη του οποιου σε σφυροκοπαει με ανελεητο τροπο προκαλωντας σφιξιμο στο στομαχι, τεντωμα των νευρων και υπερδιεγερση του εγκεφαλου. Νοητικοι λαβυρινθοι και παραληρηματικοι συλλογισμοι διατρεχουν ολο το κειμενο μεσα σε ενα σκοτεινο, μιζερο και ζοφερο περιβαλλον γεματο απο γκροτεσκες ανθρωπινες φιγουρες που παλευουν αναμεσα στην Μετα το συγκλονιστικο Πολεμος και πολεμος οι προσδοκιες ηταν πολυ μεγαλες οι οποιες ομως επαληθευτηκαν στο επακρο. Αλλο ενα μεγιστο επιτευγμα απο τον Ουγγρο συγγραφεα η γραφη του οποιου σε σφυροκοπαει με ανελεητο τροπο προκαλωντας σφιξιμο στο στομαχι, τεντωμα των νευρων και υπερδιεγερση του εγκεφαλου. Νοητικοι λαβυρινθοι και παραληρηματικοι συλλογισμοι διατρεχουν ολο το κειμενο μεσα σε ενα σκοτεινο, μιζερο και ζοφερο περιβαλλον γεματο απο γκροτεσκες ανθρωπινες φιγουρες που παλευουν αναμεσα στην επιβολη και στην αντισταση, στην παραιτηση και στην διατηρηση. Βαθυτατα πολιτικο, φιλοσοφικο και υπαρξιακο εργο, με μεγαλες δοσεις κοινωνικης σατιρας. Ο εγκλωβισμος στη σφαιρα του παραλογου, της παρανοιας, του φοβου και της υποταγης, δεν ειναι τιποτα περισσοτερο απο το αποτελεσμα του συνολικου αθροισματος ολων των μικροσυμφεροντων τα οποια κινουν αυτο που ονομαζεται "ζωη", αγνοωντας ομως αυτο που τελικα κυριαρχει και καταβροχθιζει τα παντα.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mariel

    David and brian's reviews. Now no one is reading this so it doesn’t matter that I’m tongued-tied and confused how to express my feelings on The Melancholy of Resistance. (I can will myself to do anything if I tell myself that nothing I do matters. It feels like freedom. Everything I say is bullshit anyway.) I’ve been doodling whales and stars for days and days. It’s difficult to ever translate those images to outside of me. Hold on, I meant to say that ‘Melancholy’ was translated from the Hungari David and brian's reviews. Now no one is reading this so it doesn’t matter that I’m tongued-tied and confused how to express my feelings on The Melancholy of Resistance. (I can will myself to do anything if I tell myself that nothing I do matters. It feels like freedom. Everything I say is bullshit anyway.) I’ve been doodling whales and stars for days and days. It’s difficult to ever translate those images to outside of me. Hold on, I meant to say that ‘Melancholy’ was translated from the Hungarian (by George Szirtes. It’s weird how I rarely pay attention to the translators/cover artists/interpreters names. Maybe I should). Some things I just can’t get (get or get right) no matter how it’s expressed. The words in my head, the thoughts that are images and those that are half words. (How am I going to get this right?) I’m feeling some strong shit. Talk about the movie, Mariel. But I saw it so long ago that the elusive feelings I couldn’t name are years out of my reach. (But it’s a great way to stall!) Embarrassing confession (#1. I’m sure there will be more): I had a weirdo crush on actor Lars Rudolph that pretty much died when seeing Werckmeister Harmonies (sometime around ‘02 or ‘03). I couldn’t even tell why I’d liked him so much when in my early twenties. Probably the film Baby, or The Princess and the Warrior (and looking back I know that was just insane [I’m blocking out the look-a-like I knew who I crushed on badly. That was probably it]). If an actor made one expression that meant something to me I’d feel grateful and affectionate (even better if I could also make fun of them. It would take ages to explain my “relationship” with Paul McCartney). I take understanding where I can get it. But all that David says about him in this film is right. Anyway, I could watch The Werckmeister Harmonies again (Robert says there is a beautiful dance number in it. That alone is inducement enough for me. Don’t know what is happening to me that I don’t remember it. I live for great dance scenes). But I probably won’t because I know that it didn’t make me feel like reading The Melancholy of Resistance did. Some of the best times of my life are the times I’d see something in a movie that made me feel like I got something. Or some kind of connection. It’s really hard for me to feel like that. I remember of 2002-2003 those times. I’d take Samantha Morton in Morvern Callar, Liv Ullmann in Persona, all of these inside others heads by perfect outside translations on my walks. (Something I’ve always done is try to act out something, or put on faces for meanings, trying to understand. I’m doing that again, after a blank period.) I’m so happy to have that feeling back, after reading ‘Melancholy’. If I don’t have it all of the time it isn’t enough. I related to Eszter’s walks. I could try on Valuska’s strong inclination type urge thing (way to go, Mariel!) towards something, to reach anything. (Along with my own. It kinda sucks to do that by yourself.) Damn it. Embarrassing confession #2: (What makes me admit this kind of thing on goodreads? At all?) When I was a kid they had tests done on me to make sure that I was not retarded or disabled some way (I’m not [so she says!]. Trauma childhood stuff no one wants to hear and I don’t want to talk about). It got to me about Valuska, how people thought he was a halfwit and that it went over his head that they thought so. I’ve tried to explain before this feeling about crowds I get. I’ve got this sorta claustrophobia when things are about to begin. It’s not just loneliness (although it is certainly that too) , sinister camaraderie and melting of faces (that I could never try on). There’s this feeling I get behind what people are saying that there’s something I’m really not getting. This is a really hard review to write. Since I’m the sort of person (apparently) who admits to this kind of shit: I cried. Really hard. They can’t win. I’ve never been to Hungary. My ex has been and I’ve got postcards he sent me from there. I’d stare at the postage stamps and their money (they weren’t using the euro, at least not in 2008) for ages. I’m fascinated. Does anybody else think of gauging their place like in mob mentality situations? I think I’d stop dead in my tracks (in my heart, probably) and stare and do nothing. (Like the stampede in The Lion King. Save yourself!) Reading The Melancholy of Resistance is like being alive. It’s the seeing the life thing of others and feeling like the moments in your brain when your mental art is translated outside of you into how you are seeing others. This might be a story but it’s really not at all. It’s looking into the universe above your head and trying to break through those walls. That’s not a story that’s just trying to keep living. I lose that all of the time. Sometimes I can get it back. I gotta keep trying to get it back (they can’t win! No Mrs. Eszters!). Shout-outs to Morrissey brian and to David. I’m freaking grateful. P.s. The review I wrote in my head a bunch of times at work was better than the review I actually wrote.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nessrina Hazem

    بداية الرواية مع اعلان وصول سيرك للمدينة يعرض أضخم حوت محنط في العالم. خبر سار لأي سكان مدينة طبيعيين، إلا سكان مدينتنا الصغيرة في هنغاريا. فالسيرك و الحوت الضخم يعني جلبة و تشويق و إثارة مفاهيم مخيفة مرفوضة فمدينتنا. image hosting سكان المدينة ضعفاء جبناء ، غارقين في مستنقع من الأوهام و الشلل، منغلقون يسدون أي منفذ للهواء، في اعتقادهم ان اي تغيير طفيف ينذر بكارثة او يوم القيامة. "لا تخدعوا أنفسكم. فسوف أضع هذا المكان المقرف خلف القضبان، هذه الحفرة القذرة التي يتصرف كل أبله فيها كأنه مركز الكون ... بداية الرواية مع اعلان وصول سيرك للمدينة يعرض أضخم حوت محنط في العالم. خبر سار لأي سكان مدينة طبيعيين، إلا سكان مدينتنا الصغيرة في هنغاريا. فالسيرك و الحوت الضخم يعني جلبة و تشويق و إثارة مفاهيم مخيفة مرفوضة فمدينتنا. image hosting سكان المدينة ضعفاء جبناء ، غارقين في مستنقع من الأوهام و الشلل، منغلقون يسدون أي منفذ للهواء، في اعتقادهم ان اي تغيير طفيف ينذر بكارثة او يوم القيامة. "لا تخدعوا أنفسكم. فسوف أضع هذا المكان المقرف خلف القضبان، هذه الحفرة القذرة التي يتصرف كل أبله فيها كأنه مركز الكون ... لعنة الرب عليكم! كارثة! يوم القيامة! أنتم هي الكارثة، لأن اقدامكم لا تسير علي الأرض، أنتم يا حفنة السائرين في نومهم. فلنتراهن على أنك لا تعرف حتى ما أتحدث عنه الآن! هذا لأنك لا تتكلم بل 'تهمس' أو 'تدلي بدلوك'، أنت لا تدخل مكان بل 'تجتاز عتبته'، و انت لا تشعر بالبرد أو بالحر، بل تجد إنك ترتجف' او تشعر بالعرق يتصبب منك'. لم أسمع كلمة واضحة واحدة.. فأنتم لا تتقنون شيئاً غير الخوار و المواء. إذا ألقى مخرب حجراً على نافذتكم، فإنكم تظنون يوم القيامة قد أتى. إنكم لا تفعلون شيئاً غير أن تعطسوا ثم تنتظرون و تصيحون 'هذا سحر'! ما سيكون سحراً حقيقياً هو أن يوقظكم أحد فتدركون أنكم لا تعيشون على القمر بل في هنغاريا... انكم ماضون في الثرثرة عن 'الجائحة التي تنذر بنهاية العالم' و قمامات أخرى من هذا القبيل" شخصيات الرواية قليلة، بين السيدة إيزتر المتسلطة و تخطيطها المدروس و سعيها للسياسة و السلطة بأدوات مختلفة من رجالها و نشر الفوضى و استغلال طبيعة سكان المدينة لتحقيق أطماعها في حكم المدينة. و السيد إيزتر بهدوئة و كرهه للمدينة بسكانها و عزلته و اعتكافه في منزله مع موسيقاه. و أخيراً فالوسكا بصيص الأمل في كل السكون و الركود اللي في القرية و أطيب مواطنيها و علاقته بالسيد إيزتر. image uploader و مدير السيرك و الأمير و السيدة بلوف والدة فالوسكا و بدايتها و نهايتها الغريبة على هامش الرواية. الرواية موضوعها مثير و الكاتب ابدع في الوصف و تحليل الشخصيات و تفكيرهم و وصفه للسوداوية و الكآبة في المدينة و مشاهد الثورة و الفوضى و الحرائق و حظر التجوال. الرمزية في الرواية و أسلوب الforeshadowing في الوصف في بداية الرواية و في الحوارات ممتع جداً. مشكلة الرواية او الكارثة انها one shot و دي اول مرة أقرا حاجة كدة. بدايتها تمهيد ٨٠ صفحة و خاتمة ٤٠ صفحة و باقي الرواية ٢٦٠ صفحة من غير فصول او فقرات او فواصل. مع جمل اعتراضية كتير جداً. مع الوصف و التطويل فالموضوع مرهق جداً. في المجمل هي رواية مميزة و أحداثها مرت علينا بس الرواية مرهقة جداً في قرائتها. 🤦🏻‍♀️ و سعيدة إني قدرت أقاوم كآبتها.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sagahigan

    Một thành phố nhỏ tầm thường xoàng xĩnh ở Hungari đột nhiên bị náo động bởi sự xuất hiện của một đoàn xiếc kỳ lạ mang theo “một kỳ quan độc nhất vô nhị”: con cá voi to nhất người ta từng thấy nằm trên cái bệ khổng lồ. Và rồi biến cố tưởng như vô thưởng vô phạt này rốt cuộc lại kéo theo một loạt biến cố càng lúc càng bất ngờ, phi thực và bạo liệt, dẫn đến sự nổi loạn toàn diện của cư dân thành phố, mà động lực là âm mưu thâm hiểm của một người đàn bà vốn dĩ bình thường nay chợt nảy ra tham vọng m Một thành phố nhỏ tầm thường xoàng xĩnh ở Hungari đột nhiên bị náo động bởi sự xuất hiện của một đoàn xiếc kỳ lạ mang theo “một kỳ quan độc nhất vô nhị”: con cá voi to nhất người ta từng thấy nằm trên cái bệ khổng lồ. Và rồi biến cố tưởng như vô thưởng vô phạt này rốt cuộc lại kéo theo một loạt biến cố càng lúc càng bất ngờ, phi thực và bạo liệt, dẫn đến sự nổi loạn toàn diện của cư dân thành phố, mà động lực là âm mưu thâm hiểm của một người đàn bà vốn dĩ bình thường nay chợt nảy ra tham vọng muốn trở thành kẻ có quyền lực cao nhất, song hành với sự đớn hèn và hám lợi của hầu hết những con người vây quanh mụ ta. Nổi bật trên nền đó cuộc đấu tranh ngoan cường không cân sức của một vài con người hiếm hoi cuối cùng còn giữ nguyên phẩm chất con người, chống lại sự tha hóa chung của cả cộng đồng dù phải trả giá bằng sinh mạng mình. “Nỗi buồn kháng cự” (tạm dịch nhan đề) là một kiệt tác về sự tha hóa – sự sẵn sàng tha hóa, tiềm năng tha hóa, khuynh hướng tự nhiên tiến đến chỗ tha hóa – của nhân loại, bài ca bi tráng về thất bại không tránh khỏi của tính người đích thực, sự “kháng cự” của tính người đó trước sự tha hóa tràn ngập kia. Tuy nhiên, dù màu sắc/âm hưởng chung của cuốn sách là đen, u ám, song, một cách có vẻ nghịch lý, khi gấp sách lại, chúng ta vẫn không khỏi cảm thấy tiếp tục tin ở con người, bởi vì, dù chỉ có một người duy nhất như Valushka mà thôi, thì vẫn còn chỗ để hy vọng ở loài người. Sức mạnh ngôn từ của cuốn sách thật khôn cưỡng. Một cuốn sách thực sự kiệt xuất. Đã có người hỏi tôi: tôi tìm cái gì ở một cuốn sách. Nói cách khác, cuốn sách nào là cuốn sách tối hậu tôi tìm kiếm? Trả lời: cuốn sách nào chạm đến mọi cấp độ của bản thể tôi, trí óc, tâm hồn, tiềm thức, tất cả, ở mức độ mạnh nhất. "Nỗi buồn kháng cự" là một cuốn như thế. Nó như một dòng lũ nham thạch phún xuất ra từ nhà văn, một dòng lũ mãnh liệt, tự nhiên, trong đó không có sự phân biệt giữa đâu là những gì thuộc một trí tuệ cao nhất và những gì thuộc một tâm hồn lớn nhất. Tác giả một cuốn sách như thế là một trí tuệ lớn trong một nỗi đau lớn, và so với kích thước của trí tuệ cũng như nỗi đau đó thì mọi bận tâm về hình thức trở thành tuyệt đối thứ yếu, song chính vì đó là trí tuệ lớn nên nó có khả năng làm chủ cao độ tất cả những cái thuộc hàng thứ yếu ấy, cũng như một vận động viên phải có khả năng làm chủ từng bước chạy một của mình, bắt từng bước chạy một - được thực hiện đến độ hoàn hảo nhất có thể - phục vụ cho mục đích tối hậu là cái quãng đường lớn mà anh ta phải vượt qua. "Correction" của Thomas Bernhard, "The gospel according to Jesus Christ" của José Saramago, "Too loud a solitude" của Bohumil Hrabal, "Anh em nhà Karamazov" của Dostoyevski là một số trong những cuốn sách như thế. Đọc xong những cuốn như vậy, tôi không còn có thể là tôi như trước, về mọi phương diện. So với chúng, những "Nếu một đêm đông có người lữ khách" của Italo Calvino hay "Life, a user's manual" của George Perec chỉ là những cuốn sách hạng nhì. Chúng làm tôi khâm phục, rất khâm phục, về mặt trí tuệ; đúng. Nhưng, đọc chúng, tâm hồn tôi từ đầu đến cuối không nóng lên. Tôi cần những cuốn ấy ở một số lúc. Nhưng luôn luôn thì không.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dajana

    Ne znam odakle da počnem, sem da dva Krasnahorkaijeva romana u kratkom periodu nisu dobra ideja sem ako ne želite potvrdu kosmosa da svi treba da se obesimo. Svakako je jasno da je Krasnahorkai, kako sam negde pročitala, pokušao da 'popravi' ono čime je bio nezadovoljan u Satantangu. Meni se čini, pak, da je prvo trebalo prevesti Satantango, pa onda Melanholiju otpora, ne samo zbog hronološkog sleda, već i zbog toga što, uprkos prevodiočevom stavu, mislim da je Satantango tehnički uspeliji roman. Ne znam odakle da počnem, sem da dva Krasnahorkaijeva romana u kratkom periodu nisu dobra ideja sem ako ne želite potvrdu kosmosa da svi treba da se obesimo. Svakako je jasno da je Krasnahorkai, kako sam negde pročitala, pokušao da 'popravi' ono čime je bio nezadovoljan u Satantangu. Meni se čini, pak, da je prvo trebalo prevesti Satantango, pa onda Melanholiju otpora, ne samo zbog hronološkog sleda, već i zbog toga što, uprkos prevodiočevom stavu, mislim da je Satantango tehnički uspeliji roman. E, sad, postoji i nešto što mi je jako smetalo, a nisam bila sigurna ima li smisla isticati jer je ... osetljivo. Naime, postoje mnogi delovi teksta koje izgovaraju ljudi sa iskvarenim govorom, oni koji govore žargonom, i slično. Prevodilac je, prema mom mišljenju, to skandalozno rešio - koristio je naše dijalekte ili, da jad bude strašniji, kombinaciju ijekavice i bosanskih poštapalica. Mislim da je to očajno rešenje jer, pre svega, ne vidim zašto bi ekavica bila povlašćena u odnosu na druga narečja, a pritom su ti segmenti iskarikirani do nečitljivosti, a sumnjam da je tako u originalu. Pritom, vrlo je nedosledno primenjivan sistem tih kombinacija poštapalica, idioma, uzrečica, i sve u svemu, to me je baš iznerviralo, i u prevodi Harija Potera je to bolje rešeno u Hagridovom govoru, nego ovde, a baš imam poštovanje prema radu Marka Čudića. Srećna sam što sam prvo čitala Satantango, i deluje mi da postoje 'poslastice' za verne čitaoce u vidu autopoetičkog upućivanja na Satantango - suptilno, ali vrlo efektno. Čini se kao da postoje neki bliski kosmosi u kojima se odvija radnja ta dva dela, kao neke male apokalipse koje tinjaju sporadično svuda oko nas, nešto se događa i nestaje, a mi smo vrlo blizu i samo će nas zgrabiti i pojesti. Na kraju, kod Krasnahorkaija se u obama romanima postavlja pitanje - kojoj strani pripadate? Ja još nisam odlučila.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos)(RK)

    There are over 50 reviews of this book on goodreads so I won't sum up the story in any way. Just some comments. The book is about destruction and decay; disharmony and disorder. It is also about, in a twisted, sad way, harmony and rebirth. Each character wins or loses according to their own take on the world; their own resilience and abilities, both intellectually and morally. (Moral ability?) Of the main characters, Mrs. Eszter, the true Leviathan of the story, through her Machiavellian maneuve There are over 50 reviews of this book on goodreads so I won't sum up the story in any way. Just some comments. The book is about destruction and decay; disharmony and disorder. It is also about, in a twisted, sad way, harmony and rebirth. Each character wins or loses according to their own take on the world; their own resilience and abilities, both intellectually and morally. (Moral ability?) Of the main characters, Mrs. Eszter, the true Leviathan of the story, through her Machiavellian maneuverings, comes out on top. She is the new order which replaces the old disorder and decay of the town. She has taken advantage of the chaos to recreate the world as she wishes. Valuska, who has spent his life seeing the order of the world, listening to the music of the spheres, as it were, has joined the forces of chaos and is left with only disorder and his own silence. His protector, Mr. Eszter, has ridden out the storm and recreated his own world. In place of the discord (dis-chord) of his previous existence (his piano tuned to the Aristoxenus system), he has returned to traditional harmony (the Werckmeister system of tuning) and his love of Bach. He has rejected the modern for tradition. He has also assumed his new role as father protector to Valuska. In the depths of his fear and his own chaos, he had realized that he wanted to protect Valuska. He is now able to devote his days to doing so still living in denial of the reality around him. The book begins and ends with Mrs. Plauf, she who tried but failed to stay in her own ordered world, who created her own harmonious existence against the world around her, who refused to become part of Mrs. Eszter’s schemes and who, finally, as the book closes, brings closure to the reader. The world is chaos and out of that chaos comes a certain inevitable order. It should be noted, however, that the book is full of rhetorical devices to the point where one is uncertain as to the meaning of much of it. On the cover, Susan Sontag is quoted as comparing the author with Gogol and Melville. One could add: Dante, Joyce, Beckett, Kafka and Bernhardt. What they all have in common is that literary critics have dedicated their lives to understanding them and there is, as yet, no common understanding of the most basic themes. László Kraszhnahorkai can be added to that list as an author who will consume academics’ lives.

  24. 4 out of 5

    knig

    The Melancholy of Resistance is, George Szirtes says, ‘a slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type’. And because I adore Szirtes, the poet, I chose to imbue his summation with promises of a linguistic operetta of multifactorial continuo. Alas, he too must earn his daily bread, (being the novel’s translator) and so it transpires, at the end of this epic polity, that he meant what he said entirely literally: a statement of fact rather than a literary endorsement. A vast black river of The Melancholy of Resistance is, George Szirtes says, ‘a slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type’. And because I adore Szirtes, the poet, I chose to imbue his summation with promises of a linguistic operetta of multifactorial continuo. Alas, he too must earn his daily bread, (being the novel’s translator) and so it transpires, at the end of this epic polity, that he meant what he said entirely literally: a statement of fact rather than a literary endorsement. A vast black river of lava is what it says on the tin, and exactly what this novel delivers: an unrelenting pummelling of words undistracted by paragraphs or full stops: therefore, it must be stream of consciousnessness, (says the Guardian, the New Yorker, the Times, etc. All hail). A stream of consonants more like, a black morass of type which settles every inch of the mis-en-scene and piles on in thick layers, purporting an emphemeral promise of imminent unravelling which never quite crystallises. This linguistic technique has as its main function the architecture of a frieze layering of shallow planes that work against any privileging of the center: instead, it is the oscillating viewpoint which invests the grammar of the message, a viewpoint which is not a subjective, located, space but rather bleeds off the edges of the page, chasing a ‘reverse perspective’ vantage point. It does not demand a point of identification at which the viewer is interpellated into the chronology of the image, but rather presses on, buoyed by the irreducible thickness of its hypnotic and undecipherable content. It is precisely this which makes the novel ‘difficult’: a lack of marshalling of centrifugal cohesion or ancillary anchorage of any kind. The above is my countertake to the prevailing mantra in newspaper reviews that what we are dealing with here is a postmodernist linguistic architecture that operates like a multifacedted lens that refracts the world into multiple viewpoints simultaneously: which crops up in some derivative form ad nauseum lest the reviewer be caught with their pants down in some metaphysical great white Hungarian post soviet modernist debate. Which comes a cropper. A vast black river of type is what this is folks: no more, no less. And if ever a book needed a wee paragraph, or two, well, look no further... The title, then: a piece of flummoxery which has nothing to do with the ominous atmosphere precipitated by the advent of a touring circus towing a leviathan pickled whale, entouraged by its groupies: ostensibly a refractory group of anarchistic revolutionaries who catalyze the host town’s entropy into a night of murder and mayhem. The literal translation of the title is apparently ‘opposition melancholy of’ which , Hungarian speaker that I’m not, still renders itself to an interpretation or two: why should it not be the opposition of melancholy, which makes infinite more sense: a galvanising of complacency into resurrection, a nihilistic, anarchistic disruption of the status quo: insert own take here: Hungary’s complacency with both Nazi and Soviet occupation: why not, JSTOR emanates have done it. A cleansing of the national palate so to speak. But no reason to stop with mere historical reconciliations: the story serves as an overarching magnus opus(sic)of the ever enduring political zeitgeist: the exploitation of mass hysteria, and using the mechanism of violence to construct a new political hegemony. And in the meantime, brush up on Hobbes, Kafka and Kleist, Dostoyevsky, Goethe and even Dante, to name but just a few who in whose tradition this is. Now, I don’t care whose tradition this is in, all I care about is how bad it is. Nevertheless, if we’re going to name drop shamelessly here, its not like I have nothing to say (which is the case with me even when I have nothing to say). The controlling concept here is a Pavel Florenskian antinomial rendering of the truth in the nature of political systems, informed by Hans Magnus Enzenberger’s marvellous ‘the consciousness industry’ principle (that the product of the mind is the perpetuation of the existing Order of man’s domination over man). Further, is it a coincidence that the rampaging hordes seem to be orchestrated by a nebulous persona called ‘The Prince’ and in what is the only sublime sub context-within-text coup de grace in the whole novel, and that these hordes are equally and simultaneously manoeuvred in a parallel paradigm by the Machiavellian Mrs Ezter? She, who orchestrates a series of complex machinations behind the scenes worthy of a supreme Svengali, a masterful Machievelli: given advance warning of possible unrest, she decides to let the scenario play out so that she might intervene at the precise moment and ‘save the day’: too early and the plan comes a cropper, too late and her role will be swept into the disarrange of anarchy: plotting a tight high wire act, she calls in the army just in time, incapacitates the chief of police with copious drink, dispatches Valuska (the only person who might adivine her evil intentions) on a wild good chase, and, does it eight times (eight !!!!) with the army lieutenant Commander, in one night no less, which allows her to assume chief comrade secretary leader of the people something or other status. World domination, muahaaaha! (although I remain more impressed with the eight times in one night achievement myself). Character portrayal and deployment remains overall poor, with the exception of Valuska. Given there are only four main characters, this is a disappointment. Even in retrospect, I fail to see what purpose, message or qualia Mrs Plauf brings to the overarching narrative, apart from some comic relief in the opening scenes when she falls victim to that all too well known to ‘siteration’ in which a male specimen gets it into his head that a woman has the hots for him, and advances on a leery course to collect his dues (why is it never the Brad Pitts of the world who labour under such misapprehensions: although granted in that case it wouldn’t quite be a misapprehension, like anyone would say no to THAT). In a hilarious Bridget Jones moment poor Ms Plauff’s bra strings snap whilst she is sitting in a rickety train, and she is faced with the dilemma of whether to cover up : and bring attention to herself, or let it all go, which she does, in a wibble-wobbly concertina which drives her smarmy admirer mad with passion. (just can’t win this one, I’m afraid. Damned if you do or don’t). Fly-away boobs and a near miss mile high club (except on a train) aside, Mrs Plauff is a catstrophe of a trope: its as if though Krasznahorkai doesn’t know what to do with her. Just as she settles comfortably into spinster stereotype lifted straight from the anals of ‘the Prime of Ms Jean Brodie’ complete with conserves, chintz and poppycock lace behind closed doors, we learn she has actually buried two husbands and kicked out her unpromising son, Valuska, the proverbial village idiot. There is no way her maidenly histrionics read true after that bit of biography. But more so, the derisory notion that that a respectable pillar of a small town community can discard her son to communal upkeeping, whilst at the same time subscribing to the social ostracization petition against Mrs Eszter for not living with her husband. Enough already. ‘Buts its all a bit of magical realism’, extols the Guardian Review. Really? Did I blink and miss that part? Magical realism is The Master and Margarita. Or Donosos’s ‘the Obscene Bird or Midnight’. Not this. (unless we are referring to the eight times in one night?) This novel: why, its the Emperor’s new clothes, after all. Or, in the words of Charles Newman, a supreme example of 'climax inflation': pervasive in the current cultural malaise of searching out and force-finding of postmodernist recontextualizing in all kinds of verbal diarrhea so long as it was spewed in the context of the last twenty years of so: the primary sensation of our time.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Hypnotic terror. All the captivating, brutal elan of a putrid virus of words, spread on page after page, in home after home, where hiding in indefinite quarantine is the surest way to be cornered. For all that ferocity and imminent-cum-ongoing doom, LK displays and defends an elegant rhetoric, the virtuoso wordsmith, spieling nothing but last breaths, with whom we have the dismal privilege of sharing the deck on this Titanic Earth. And boy howdy the sea is rising fast.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nate D

    So who knew that Bela Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies was an adaptation? This dense, winding novel seemingly condenses much of the tumultuous experience of 20th century Hungary into a few days of carefully cryptic allegory that is stronger and more universal for its lack of easy 1:1 correspondences between its reality and the greater one. The novel was adapted for screen by Tarr with the author and its long sentences and lack of paragraph breaks are reflected in the film's long, seamless takes (of So who knew that Bela Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies was an adaptation? This dense, winding novel seemingly condenses much of the tumultuous experience of 20th century Hungary into a few days of carefully cryptic allegory that is stronger and more universal for its lack of easy 1:1 correspondences between its reality and the greater one. The novel was adapted for screen by Tarr with the author and its long sentences and lack of paragraph breaks are reflected in the film's long, seamless takes (of course, this could not be the sole inspiration for the style as long seamless takes are par for the course with Tarr). As such, it is a good companion to the incredible film, related but distinct in many ways. In particular, the precise significance of Andreas Werkmeister (whose retuning of the western musical scale from "natural" Pythagorean to its modern extended (artificial?) form is a core concept of modern convenience at the expense of perfection, perhaps) has been substantially turned back on itself. And as is often the case with such adaptations, the bits that have changed between the two versions also offer key insights into the decisions underlying them. So I am quite pleased to have found this (via Mike E, I should say). All the same, the novel itself is somewhat caught between stretches of extreme elegance, ultra-dry eastern european wit at misfortunes mundane and terrible, and formal cleverness -- caught between all of these and a certain tedium generated by long, unbroken passages of introspection, some of which require considerable repetition to get their gradual perspective shifts across. The technique works pretty well in general, but it isn't always exactly gripping. Although perhaps I have been spoiled by the sense of urgency with which the film imbues certain sequences. ... previous, now-somewhat-redundant notes: 1. Fitting source for a film with so many 10-minute sequence shots, this book runs in long sentences and endless paragraphs. Really the only paragraph breaks are the major section/chapter breaks, when action is interrupted or the perspective shifts. Of course, Tarr always loves extended shots, so it wasn't purely in response to this novel; the two simply suit eachother well. 2. I love all of the subjective interpolations in midsentence, with both dialogue and interior thoughts constantly intruding into the descriptions as brief quotations. This works most effectively and originally when stated opinion and actual opinion are at odds and yet are both included without differentiation. 3. The film stands on its own, even in all its ambiguities. That doesn't mean that I'm not pleased to see that material exapnded upon with more detailed context and character backgrounds. Particularly, all this early insight into Mrs. Ezster, whose role in the film is significant but brief. 4. And can we just talk for a minute about the Eastern European sense of humor? It is excellent. A feathering of the absurd, so dry as to be practically unnoticeable, even in deathly serious contexts, but still enough to prevent most works from seeming as stilted or self-important as some of their counterparts from elsewhere can risk. An example: the rioting mob that gradually runs out of steam until they are reduced to wandering a laundromat, milling about and listlessly kicking at a drier or two. The whole sequence caps one of the darker stretches of the novel, and compliments it with a hidden ridiculousness without undercutting.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Howard

    To get its essence entirely one has to read it in the cold. Outside, and at night. Where one can look up to see the stars. Or to not see them. And then wonder if up is really where we are looking. He glanced up and suddenly had the sensation that the sky wasn't where it was supposed to be; terrified, he looked up again and confirmed the fact that there was indeed nothing there, so he bowed his head and surrendered to the fur caps and the boots, realizing that it was no use to search because wha To get its essence entirely one has to read it in the cold. Outside, and at night. Where one can look up to see the stars. Or to not see them. And then wonder if up is really where we are looking. He glanced up and suddenly had the sensation that the sky wasn't where it was supposed to be; terrified, he looked up again and confirmed the fact that there was indeed nothing there, so he bowed his head and surrendered to the fur caps and the boots, realizing that it was no use to search because what he sought was lost, swallowed up by this coming together of forces, of details, of this earth, this marching. On another note: Am I crazy to see Valuska and Mr. Eszter as Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Joe? ...for the force of sheer velocity can know nothing of the nature of a speck of drifting dust... Lots and then some more of synchronicity when reading this book and discussing postmodernism and specks of dust and gravity waves and sheer velocity. Uncertainty about what? Heterohegemony if you ask me. The joyousness of resistance if you ask me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eddie Watkins

    Luckily I found this book in a local bookstore the day after I saw Bela Tarr's film Werckmeister Harmonies. The author and Tarr have a very close relationship and have collaborated on adapting Krazhnahorkai's novels into films, but I think this is the only novel that has been translated into English. As with other books, I read this so feverishly (and it begs to be read feverishly as the whole book is one long paragraph, and some sentences go on for pages) that I can't give any kind of detached d Luckily I found this book in a local bookstore the day after I saw Bela Tarr's film Werckmeister Harmonies. The author and Tarr have a very close relationship and have collaborated on adapting Krazhnahorkai's novels into films, but I think this is the only novel that has been translated into English. As with other books, I read this so feverishly (and it begs to be read feverishly as the whole book is one long paragraph, and some sentences go on for pages) that I can't give any kind of detached detailed review; the only real impression I have of reading it is one of delerious thought-provoking and demanding pleasure.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris_P

    The Melancholy of Resistance The end of the world as we know it is drawing near. We can feel it in the streets we walk, smell it in the air we breathe, see it on the faces of the strangers that we meet. It's coming, and it's coming fast. It's not about good and bad anymore. Now it's all about who's the most powerful. And when a circus arrives at our small town, we can't help but wonder. What a strange time for a circus to visit our corner of the world. This is no time for entertainment and cheap, The Melancholy of Resistance The end of the world as we know it is drawing near. We can feel it in the streets we walk, smell it in the air we breathe, see it on the faces of the strangers that we meet. It's coming, and it's coming fast. It's not about good and bad anymore. Now it's all about who's the most powerful. And when a circus arrives at our small town, we can't help but wonder. What a strange time for a circus to visit our corner of the world. This is no time for entertainment and cheap, happy thrills. This is a time for silent grief. For standing still, waiting for the avalanche to swipe us away. And if there's even one person willing to be entertained, it must mean all hope is lost. That's how we know that the appearance of the circus can only foreshadow the catastrophe that's hanging over our heads. That's how we know it's time to choose sides. What a way to tell a story! L.K.'s words are drenched in a sense of dread over an imminent destruction the source of which is never clear. A famous Greek translator once wrote that L.K.'s optimism is hidden in his delicate sense of humor and I can't help but agree. The Melancholy of Resistance is actually a satire on social turbulences and the roles of various social groups in them. Although what the author does, he does it perfectly, I couldn't help feeling the melancholy of something great that resisted his pen. It could be that I read it too fast and my mind was carried away by the flow of his prose, dedicating only a small part of attention to the story, but I felt something missing in the end. However, the final chapter is one of the best and most mind-bendingly original final chapters I've ever read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Xavier

  31. 5 out of 5

    hari

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  34. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  35. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

  37. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Holden

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  39. 5 out of 5

    Leonard

  40. 4 out of 5

    David Auerbach

  41. 5 out of 5

    jelle

  42. 4 out of 5

    Nico

  43. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Hu

  44. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    The film of the book, Werckmeister Harmonies by Bela Tarr is off-the-chart cool. Something like 11 shots in about two-and-a-half hours. Long, long, long takes that are both bleak and rich, languid and disturbing. Beautiful film. I am enjoying the book periodically.

  45. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

  46. 5 out of 5

    J. Kyle

  47. 5 out of 5

    Valuska

  48. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

  49. 4 out of 5

    Esceilenn

  50. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  51. 4 out of 5

    Colin

  52. 5 out of 5

    Ph

  53. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  54. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

  55. 5 out of 5

    Alok

  56. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  57. 5 out of 5

    read

  58. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  59. 5 out of 5

    Kate

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