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"Months before he had admitted that further, futile experimentation would be pointless, and it soon dawned upon him that he would in fact be incapable of making the slightest change even if he desired it; no modification could prove to be unequivocally effective, for it was always to be feared that the desire for change was nothing but the secret manifestation of failing memory. In actual fact he did nothing but protect his memory from disintegration, ravaging everything around him; ever since the day they had pronounced the liquidation of the shanty-town and he had decided to grasp the opportunity and remain until the 'rescinding of his suspension' should arrive, had gone up in the mill with the older Horgos girl and watched the noisy loading up of the trucks, the feverish hurry-scurry of people shrieking, the lorries receding into the distance, looking as though they were running away, the houses, appearing to sag under the death-sentence - ever since that day he had felt, had known himself to be too weak to arrest this triumphant deterioration by himself; had known that it was no use kicking against this tide, destroying, annihilating everything in this path: houses, walls, trees and earth, the birds swooping down from above and the animals scurrying down below, human bodies, desires and hopes; had known that he could not hold out against it, however hard he tried, he could not check this atrocious assault against human creation, so he acknowledged in time that all that was in his power to do was to confront this fateful and insidious dissolution with his memory, because he believed that even if everything in this place that had been built by bricklayers, nailed together by joiners, sewn by women, everything that had been created by men and women by the skin of their teeth had become the nutriment of the mysterious fluids coursing in tangled subterranean passages, his memory would still remain intact and alive until his organs 'cancelled the contract upon which their commercial relations were founded,' until his flesh and bones were attacked by the deadly vultures of decay. He decided that he would keep a constant and intensive watch, a 'running documentary,' endeavouring not to omit the most trivial detail, for he had realized that to disregard even the most insignificant-seeming things was tantamount to admitting that we stand helpless, caught up in the 'swaying bass-ropes' of the bridge between disintegration and apprehensible order: every trivial incident that ever occupied, be it 'the territory carved out of the table' by shreds of tobacco, the direction of the wild geese's approach or even the apparently meaningless succession of human gestures, must be continually followed, noted and grasped, this is our only hope of not becoming ourselves untraceable and silenced captives of this satanic order, disintegrating, yet eternally under process of recreation. But memory, conscientious though it may be, is insufficient: 'it is powerless in itself and incapable of coping with the task;' it must find the means, a lasting and rational ensemble of signs with the aid of which the range of this constantly functioning memory may be extended and perpetuated in time. The best thing would be, thought the doctor up in the mill, 'if I reduced to the minimum those instances through which I myself should be increasing the quantity of matter to be kept under observation,' and that very night, after he had brusquely sent the uncomprehending Horgos girl packing and had told her that her services would no longer be required, he had prepared his observation-post, imperfect then, beside the window, and had set about arranging certain essential elements of his system, which may from a certain point of view justly be termed insane."
(From: Satan Tango, tr. by E. Molnár)

Among the "second-generation" writers of fiction bent on portraying the unspeakable horrors, utter hopelessness and almost eerie apocalypse of the socialist reality of Eastern Europe, László Krasznahorkai marches in the vanguard. The perpetually dreary atmosphere is pregnant with both Kafkaesque ambiguities and magical realism reminiscent of Garcia Márquez and Bulgakov.
(Clara Györgyey, World Literture Today, vol. 69)



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