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Satantango (1985), Lászlo Krasznahorkai’s literary debut, is a Hungarian classic by a visionary author. Utilizing epic proportions, an original concept and Satanic dance as a fierce vision of decay, the novel immediately aroused great interest and won numerous national and international awards. The novel’s central thread is the story of a villainous Messiah, a false prophet who thematizes the lust for power and violence, the inscrutable questions of human nature, the naive, misplaced trust of ordinary people in self-proclaimed leaders and the collective powerlessness. The main character, Irimiás, is a conniver, a drifter, an ex-conman who abuses the despair of villagers in a rotting, rain-drenched Hungarian hamlet. Lászlo Krasznahorkai is an accomplished writer; even the strangest developments in the story convince, and are beautifully integrated within the novel’s dance-like structure. More than three decades after its creation, Satantango remains a highly relevant work. In recent years, the novel has been enjoying a revival in popularity and has been published in new translations. Satantango was made into a seven-hour black and white film by Bela Tarr.
The novel has been translated into Slovenian by Marjanca Mihelič.
Known for his signature style, a unique blend of postmodernism and melancholy, material reality and metaphysics, existentialism and refined imagery, László Krasznahorkai (1954) soon attained renown as an iconic writer. He was described by Susan Sontag as the “contemporary Hungarian master of the apocalypse”, and W. G. Sebald compared the universality of Krasznahorkai’s vision to Gogol's Dead Souls. He has received a variety of national and prestigious foreign literary awards, including Brücke-Berlin (2010), Prima Primissima (2012) and the Vilenica Grand Prix (2014), and was the first Hungarian to win the prestigious Man Booker International Prize in 2015. In 2021, he received the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. For the past few years, he has been a regular candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The talk will be held in Hungarian, with simultaneous translation into Slovenian.