By László Krasznahorkai
From the winner of the 2015 guy Booker overseas Prize
A darkish, haunting masterpiece by way of the writer of The depression of Resistance and Seiobo There Below
Now in paperback, Satantango, the unconventional that encouraged Béla Tarr’s vintage movie, is evidence that the satan has the entire solid occasions. Set in an remoted hamlet, the unconventional unfolds over the process a couple of rain-soaked days. just a dozen population stay within the bleak village, rank with the stench of failed schemes, betrayals, failure, infidelity, unexpected hopes, and aborted desires. “Their world,” within the phrases of the popular translator George Szirtes is “rough and prepared, misplaced someplace among the cosmic and tragic, in a single small insignificant nook of the cosmos. Theirs is the dance of death.” Into this global comes, it kind of feels, a messiah…
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Jug-ears turns to Irimiás. “What’s he conversing approximately? ” “I haven’t the faintest idea,” Irimiás rumbles again. The captain shifts his gaze from the ceiling and his eyes darken. “Will you please close up,” he drawls in his quaint, singsong voice. Petrina sits, virtually lies, at the chair, blinking in panic, his palms clasped throughout his chest, the again of his neck opposed to the chair again, his heavy wintry weather coat unfold approximately him like petals. Irimiás is sitting upright, his brain operating feverishly. His pointed footwear are a dazzling vibrant yellow. “We have our rights,” he sniffs, the surface on his nostril forming soft wrinkles. The captain is pissed off and blows out smoke, a short signal of exhaustion flickering throughout his face. “Rights! ” he exclaims: “You speak of rights! The legislations in your variety is just whatever to be exploited! anything to hide your again if you get into hassle! yet that’s in every single place . . . I’m now not arguing with you simply because this isn’t a debating membership, you pay attention? I recommend you fast get used to the concept that you do as I say. you are going to act legally any longer. you're employed in the legislation. ” Irimiás massages his knees with sweaty fingers: “What legislation? ” The captain frowns. “The legislation of relative power,” he says, his face light, his palms turning white at the hands of the chair. “The legislation of the land. The people’s legislations. Do those strategies suggest not anything to you? ” he asks, utilising, the fewer intimate type of “you” for the 1st time. Petrina is roused to talk (“What’s happening the following? Are we te or maga now? Are we fellow employees or now not? that's it? when you inquire from me I favor . . . ”) yet Irimiás restrains him, asserting, “Captain, you recognize what legislations we’re speaking approximately in addition to we do. That’s why we’re the following. no matter what you might imagine people, we're law-abiding voters. we're conscious of our tasks. i need to remind you that we have got usually tested that to be the case. we're at the facet of the legislations up to you're. So why most of these threats? . . . ” The captain smiles sarcastically, fixes his colossal, honest eyes on Irimiás’s inscrutable gains and even though the phrases sound pleasant sufficient they could see there’s actual fury behind them. “I understand every little thing approximately you . . . however the fact is . . . ” he offers an exceptional sigh, “I need to admit i'm none the wiser for that. ” “That’s good,” the relieved Petrina prods his better half, then casts an endearing examine the captain who recoils from his gaze and stares threateningly again. “Because, you recognize, I can’t paintings whilst I’m demanding! I easily can’t take care of it! ” after which Petrina anticipates the officer, seeing and feeling that this can be going to finish badly: “Isn’t it higher to speak like this, instead of . . . ” “You simply close that flabby face of yours! ” the captain screams at him and leaps from his chair. “What do you're thinking that? Who the hell are you, you pair of cheapskates?! you think that you could banter your well beyond me?! ” He sits back off, enraged. “You imagine we’re at the related side!? . . . ” Petrina is instantly on his toes, waving his arms approximately in panic, attempting to salvage what he can of the location.