- 22,99 €
Known for his brilliantly dark fictional visions, László Krasznahorkai is one of the most respected European writers of his generation and the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. Here, he brings us on a journey through China at the dawn of the new millennium. On the precipice of its emergence as a global power, China is experiencing cataclysms of modernity as its harsh Maoist strictures meet the chaotic flux of globalism. What remains of the Middle Kingdom’s ancient cultural riches? And can a Westerner truly understand China’s past and present—or the murky waters where the two meet?
Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens is both a travel memoir and the chronicle of a distinct intellectual shift as one of the most captivating contemporary writers and thinkers begins to engage with the cultures of Asia and the legacies of its interactions with Europe in a newly globalized society. Rendered in English by award-winning translator Ottilie Mulzet, Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens is an important work, marking the emergence of Krasznahorkai as a truly global novelist.
Praise for Krasznahorkai
“The contemporary Hungarian master of the apocalypse.”—Susan Sontag
“Krasznahorkai delights in unorthodox description; no object is too insignificant for his worrying gaze. . . . He offers us stories that are relentlessly generative and defiantly irresolvable. They are haunting, pleasantly weird, and ultimately, bigger than the worlds they inhabit.”—New York Times
“Krasznahorkai is an expert with the complexity of human obsessions. Each of his books feel like an event, a revelation.”—Daily Beast
A quest to discover the remaining artifacts and present-day incarnations of classical Chinese culture takes Man Booker International winner Krasznahorkai (Seiobo There Below) on an illuminating, melancholy journey through contemporary China in this occasionally frustrating yet often dazzling travel memoir. Setting out in 2002, and calling himself L szl Dante to emphasize the dim view he takes of "the so-called New China," Krasznahorkai, accompanied by an interpreter, treks from the Buddhist monasteries on Jiuhuashan Mountain to the cities of Nanjing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, finding "monuments restored in the most dreadful and coarse ignorance," "forgeries" in place of temples, and holy sites where "everything reeks from money." Believing themselves finally to have found an authentic village dating back to the Ming era, the travelers settle in, only to see the place overrun by tourist groups. As L szl Dante meets with local cultural figures to discuss this state of affairs including a professor of literary history and a successful fashion designer his unshakable conviction is that "the Chinese are annihilating... their very own culture" and this will preclude the possibility of genuine exchange. Fortunately, he makes meaningful connections in unlikely places: the deputy director of a tiny traditional kunqu theater is entirely dedicated to his art form, and a tea-drinking party in the Garden of the Master of the Nets turns into an experience of transcendence that will be shared by readers.