Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens


László Krasznahorkai

Translated by Ottilie Mulzet


6 x 9 inches, 320pp January 2016

ISBN : 9780857423115 & 9780857425331

Rs  750.00 (HB)     599.00 (PB)
$30.00 (HB)     24.50 (PB)
£21.00 (HB)     18.99 (PB)

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Known for his brilliantly dark fictional visions, László Krasznahorkai in the present volume offers a different literary form to his readers: the narrative of travel. In this case, the destination is China at the very start of the new millenium, on the edge of its emergence as a global power. A China, though, subjected to its own successive cataclysms of modernity, from the harsh strictures of Maoism up through the chaotic flux of globality. What remains of the cultural riches of the ancient Middle Kingdom? Can a Westerner reach an understanding of the present, the past, and even more vitally, the palimpsest between the two?


Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens is, though, much more than a travel memoir, however fascinating the circumstances of the visit may be. It equally marks a distinct intellectual shift in the oeuvre of one of Europe’s most captivating contemporary authors: the start of his engagement with the cultures of Asia and their interaction with European legacies in an ever-more interconnected planetary sphere. In addition, it represents a vital link between Krasznahorkai’s earlier work and his very latest emergence as a truly global novelist, for instance with his highly regarded recent publication Seiobo There Below.   

László Krasznahorkai is a Hungarian writer living in Berlin. Three of his works have been made into award-winning films by the renowned filmmaker Béla Tarr: Werckmeister HarmoniesSatantango, and The Horse from Turin. He has written seven novels and numerous other works, including Animalinside, also available from Sylph Editions.


Ottilie Mulzet is a literary critic and translator of Hungarian. Her published translations include Krasznahorkai’s Animalinside (2012) and Seibo There Below (2013), which won the Best Translated Book Award in the US.