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“for you it will be much better for there to be no tomorrow and no day after tomorrow; so hide away now in the grass, sink down, fall onto your side, let your eyes slowly close, and die, for there is no point in the sublimity that you bear, die at midnight in the grass, sink down and fall, and let it be like that — breathe your last.”

László Krasznahorkai, Seiobo There Below

From the end of the first section of the book, which is about (and here addressed to) a crane in Kyoto’s Kamo River, and is the only section of this very long book that is not directly related to the arts; also only a partial sentence, because this is Krasznahorkai, who has written a four-hundred-some page book with maybe two dozen periods in it — his sentences are very, very long, and progress with an implacable internal logic if not necessarily syntactical ease. The effect — and his writing is geared toward effect as much as sense — is wearying and immersing, demanding full attention and requiring a slow circling through a page as you reread passages over again to confirm the connection; but also forcing your head into the flow of another person’s action or thoughts, coercing an identification. And here, as the unseen narrator addresses the crane, the first chord struck on Seiobo’s themes: the intersection of sublimity, intention, and death.

One of the minor, mean-spirited pleasures of Krasznahorkai is imagining dropping one of his books, like a sweating stick of dynamite, on the desk of the middle school teacher who made you diagram sentences.

New Directions 09.24.13



October 09, 2013, 11:37am  Comments

» But when it comes time to level the accusation of insubordination, what evidence would the authorities have? He said it was beneficial, didn’t he?

Tin House has a series on the art of the sentence.



February 07, 2012, 5:55pm  Comments