Satantango (Paperback)

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Satantango By László Krasznahorkai, George Szirtes (Translated by) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

In rainy, late Communist Hungary, rural villagers scheme, fight, fool each other, are fooled, and are deeply, relatably human.  It feels both mythical and post-apocalyptic, written in a jaw-dropping style, with bravura, multi-page sentences. Humor, philosophy, and astute emotional observations are built into every passage.

— From Chris's Picks


From the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize

A dark, haunting masterpiece by the author of The Melancholy of Resistance and Seiobo There Below

Now in paperback, Satantango, the novel that inspired Béla Tarr’s classic film, is proof that the devil has all the good times. Set in an isolated hamlet, the novel unfolds over the course of a few rain-soaked days. Only a dozen inhabitants remain in the bleak village, rank with the stench of failed schemes, betrayals, failure, infidelity, sudden hopes, and aborted dreams. “Their world,” in the words of the renowned translator George Szirtes is “rough and ready, lost somewhere between the cosmic and tragic, in one small insignificant corner of the cosmos. Theirs is the dance of death.” Into this world comes, it seems, a messiah…

About the Author

The winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Translated Literature and the 2015 Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement, László Krasznahorkai was born in Gyula, Hungary.

George Szirtes (b. 1948) is an award-winning poet and translator who settled in England after his family fled the Hungarian Uprising of 1956.

Praise For…

He offers us stories that are relentlessly generative and defiantly irresolvable. They are haunting, pleasantly weird, and, ultimately, bigger than the worlds they inhabit.
— The New York Times Book Review

The excitement of Krasznahorkai's writing is that he has come up with his own original forms - and one of the most haunting is his first, Satantango. There is nothing else like it in contemporary literature.

— Adam Thirwell - The New York Review of Books

Satantango is a monster of a novel: compact, cleverly constructed, often exhilarating, and possessed of a distinctive, compelling vision - but a monster nonetheless...The grandeur is clearly palpable.

— The Guardian

Krasznahorkai is alone among European novelists now in his intensity and originality. One of the most mysterious artists now at work.
— Colm Tóibín

Profoundly unsettling.
— James Wood - The New Yorker

His inexhaustible yet claustrophobic prose, with its long, tight, weaving sentences, each like a tantalising tightrope between banality and apocalypse, places the author in a European tradition of Beckett, Bernhard, and Kafka.
— James Hopkin - The Independent

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811220897
ISBN-10: 0811220893
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: December 10th, 2013
Pages: 288
Language: English