LÁSZLÓ KRASZNAHORKAI: in conversation with mauro javier cardenas

Thursday, June 28th 2012

Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai made a rare U.S. appearance at City Lights, answering questions by and speaking with Mauro Javier Cardenas and then reading a passage — in Hungarian — from his first novel Satantango.

Below is a basic index of the videos:

  1. Introduction by Peter Maravelis
  2. Dostoevsky and Nietzsche
      1. “There is a figure that recurs in your novels… who share an affinity in that they are not of this world… what does that character mean in the context of your work?”
        1.  The meaning of sacrifice and the victims of this world
        2. Dostoevsky and the many characters, the sensitive figures: “it’s impossible to forget this type of human beings”
      2. The Turin Horse
        1. The last message: the final film with Béla Tarr
        2. Nietzsche, and what happened with the horse?
        3. “After the apocalypse, to make a new film?”
  3. Techniques
    1. Monologues and dialogue
      1. “I don’t believe in dialogue. I believe only in the monologue.”
      2. “When two people are in a space, one speaks… the other one perhaps listens.”
    2. Where did the long sentences come from?
      1. “Short sentences are absolutely artificial.”
      2. “The comma is much more important for a spoken language than the dot.”
      3. “The dot is the judgment of the god, and we are not gods.”
  4. The evolution of syntax from Satantango to The Melancholy of Resistance
    1. To create a world: “you cannot build a world without humor because humor is a part of the world”
    2. To show the whole side of the human
  5. “Theater is boring” and how that relates to his work: reality vs. fiction
    1. Human beings on a stage, not actors
    2. War & War: the project
  6. Love and life without human beings
    1. “Pure love is resistance, and it is characteristic of lonely people”
    2. ‘Nothing is interesting but this feeling’ and “real life is almost unbearable”
    3. To the North…
      1. “Nature is our enemy”
      2. “A world without human beings… actually, this is the paradise” / “The human being in nature made and makes something… brings a message that is really destroying the created world”
  7. The found manuscript
    1. “Characters traveling over time through landscapes of destruction”
    2. The Way Out
  8. Reading from Satantango


Read a description of Krasznahorkai’s work, listen to an audio excerpt from The Melancholy of Resistance, and read a short but pithy Q&A here.