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Animalinside (Cahier Series #14)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  248 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
As if some chained being had to shake its essence free, as if art taken to its limit were a form of howling, Animalinside explodes from its first line: He wants to break free, attempts to stretch open the walls, but he has been tautened by them, and there he remains in this tautening, in this constraint, and there is nothing to do but howl. . . . To create this work that s ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by New Directions (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 19, 2011 Greg rated it really liked it
First, this book smells great. I don't know if it's the ink used in the beautiful and textured illustrations or one of the three types of paper used but something smells wonderful. I don't usually go around sniffing books (ok, sometimes I sniff the books I'm reading, there are some very nice smelling books out there from fancy smells like this book has to comforting dusty and moldering smells in old books), but the smells of this book jump right out when you open up the pages. In my hopes to be ...more
M. Sarki
Jun 11, 2014 M. Sarki rated it it was ok

You know I generally love this guy Krasznahorkai. But this book, not so hot. It was OK, but still, I was disappointed. I'll tell you why. There are collaborations, and then some. Often they work, and often they do not. I am a large fan of László Krasznahorkai and his work with film maker Béla Tarr. I enjoyed his last novel War & War. This latest book, a collaborative effort, Animalinside, looks interesting enough, has a theme I enjoy visiting, but I fe
Chad Post
Nov 16, 2010 Chad Post rated it it was amazing
The whole Cahiers Series is brilliant and beautiful (see for more info), but this is something beyond . . .

ANIMALINSIDE is really a two-author, two-medium work. It's made up of 14 short pieces by Laszlo Krasznahorkai, all written in response to paintings by Max Neumann. (To clarify, Krasznahorkai wrote the first piece after the first artwork, and his text inspired Neumann's other pieces.)

And the text itself! Holy. Shit. That's really all I can say. I really liked Kra
Justin Evans
Nov 12, 2014 Justin Evans rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Really? Colm Toibin wrote the introduction? Okay then. You'll be glad to know that, according to the introduction, Laszlo writes sentences. I think that's the take-away. (No stars)

More importantly, this is certainly the only book I will ever read that left me wondering whether the speaker was between one and all of: THE VOID, a kind of evil Krishna, a psychotic, a teenage boy trapped in the suburbs and really wanting to break free, a large dinosaur, DEEEEEAAAAATH, or my own pet dog when she's hu
Nate D
Dec 20, 2010 Nate D marked it as read-in-2010  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nate D by: Sorceres of the Alföld
Shelves: hungary
Vehement canine variations, all driven to pure stark absolutes. Each entry in this slim volume was inspired by a collage by Max Neumann and is essentially a single winding sentence exploring a single claustrophobic concept of vengeance, restraint, or destruction. Krasnahorkai is better known as a novelist, but his precise prose serves well here as a kind of exacting poetry.
Emilian Kasemi
Feb 17, 2014 Emilian Kasemi marked it as to-read
"He wants to break free, attempts to stretch open the walls, but he has been tautened there by them, and there he remains in this tautening, in this constraint, and there is nothing else to do but howl, and now and forever he shall be nothing but his own tautening and his own howling, everything he was is no more, everything that could shall never be, so that for him there is not even anything that is. They have placed him inside this moment, but in doing so have excluded him from the moment pre ...more
Dec 04, 2013 JK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is books like these that make me wish I had a power over words. If I could only convey to you, you who are reading this, what beauty and terror is contained within these scant pages I would know such joy that I have never known. But I can't. I can't even convince you that while reading of this beauty and terror, you are reading about yourself. Yourself and everyone. Ah. It's a damn shame. If there was one book I could convince any of you to read, it would be this one. If I could sway you the ...more
Jul 12, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[For my own introduction to Krasznahorkai, see The Mythology of Laszlo Krasznahorkai.]

Animalinside is a formal experiment for Hungarian author Krasznahorkai. Krasznahorkai wrote a text to accompany a drawing by Max Neumann, and Neumann drew over a dozen more in response, and Krasznahorkai wrote a short text for each one. There's an obvious unity to it all: the pictures all feature the (usually) black silhouette of some sort of feral animal poised to jump, and the texts are all about some sort of
Jul 02, 2011 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Shelves: hungarian
this is a very well done book. It seems like a bit of a language game. It's like he's walking around the phrase the animal inside and describing what it looks like from all angles, like an artist walking around a chair and redrawing it from various angles. It even at times looks almost the same just like from some perspectives a chair will look almost the same even though you're in a completely different place. what does it mean, is it a metaphor, is it literal, is it biblical.

this was a good i
Sep 03, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
Sure, you could probably read the text of this on a Kindle or Nook. But you'd be missing everything, and I don't just mean the Neumann images. This book actually smells good! It feels good. It's a tactile experience that engages your eyes and other senses, while your brain tries to solve the mystery of who is the Animalinside.

First off, this is a novella that started with a Neumann painting that inspired Krasznahorai's text about a creature that defies easy description. After that, Neumann provi
Oct 19, 2011 Sprout rated it really liked it
"He wants to break free, attempts to stretch open the walls, but he has been tautened there by them, and there he remains in this tautening, in this constraint, and there is nothing else to do but howl, and now and forever he shall be nothing but his own tautening and his own howling, everything he was is no more, everything that could shall never be, so that for him there is not even anything that is. They have placed him inside this moment, but in doing so have excluded him from the moment pre ...more
Chuck LoPresti
Jun 22, 2011 Chuck LoPresti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost wish I hadn't read Melancholy of Resistance and War and War before this - because I want more of that. The thingitself is great - awesome printing, yes it smells cool, yes it looks awesome but I'm left wanting Satantango to arrive in English so I can get back to the longer form Krasznahorkai that I enjoyed so much more than this. Readers who are experiencing him for the first time through this work should certainly read his other available works to really get the level of mastery this w ...more
Jun 11, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
The object: utterly amazing. You will caress the pages, I promise.

The text: biblical. visceral. cyclical. lyrical. terrifying. voice of god. voice of man. like gertrude stein. like samuel beckett. like the psalms. like the book of revelation. so much in so little space. it feels like a life in less than 40 pages. a full life.
Dustin Kurtz
Jul 26, 2012 Dustin Kurtz rated it it was amazing
One of the most terrifying books I've ever read.
Yet another beautiful Cahier in the series by Sylph Editions.

Max Neumann is well known for his often eerie portraits that echo psychological states; Lszl_ Krasznahorkai is well known for his eerie, maddening, and Kafkaesque prose that delves into individuals relations to power structures and each other. Responding first to an image of Neumanns depicting a terrifying yet incomprehensible animal, Krasznahorkai set the chain of collaboration that would become Animalinside into motion; Neumanns resu
Danny Daley
Dec 30, 2016 Danny Daley rated it it was amazing
This is a short, beautiful, and fascinating book. I'd read one of Krasznahorkai's novels, and enjoyed it. The concept of this book grabbed my attention immediately - artist Max Neuman made a drawing, to which Krasznahorkai wrote a prose poem, to which Neuman made thirteen more drawings, to which Krasznahorkai wrote thirteen more prose poems - and now we have this fascinating work. The theme - the animal inside us all - is fleshed out with dark vitality and apocalyptic beauty, each piece features ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Ben rated it really liked it
I am the one who shall break out. It is impossible to confuse me with anyone else, every such fear which does not refer to me is mistaken and superfluous, because you will recognize me then, when the time has come, it won't be possible to think, maybe that's him, because at that point when I come, there will be no uncertainty at all, there will be no ifs and there will be no maybes, you will know for certain that it's him, that is to say me, because it's not some monster with arms and legs or so ...more
Rufo Quintavalle
Sep 14, 2010 Rufo Quintavalle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collaboration between Hungarian author, Laszlo Krasznahorkai and German artist, Max Neumann, this is the latest installment in the beautiful Cahiers Series. The goal of this series is to explore new directions in writing and translation and this book certainly provides plenty of food for thought for those interested in this field - Neumann's original painting inspired a prose response by Krasznahorkai which in turn inspired a series of paintings by Neumann which Krasznahorkai then wrote furthe ...more
Nov 22, 2015 George rated it really liked it
Where are you, my little master...

Laszlo Krasznahorkai's writing hypnotizes me every time. If you've read anything by him, you know what I mean-- the manic stream of anxious consciousness pulls you in like a black hole and there is no escape, no grammatical relief as the sentences swirl on and on from line to line, zig-zagging across the page like lacerations bleeding letters and you can't wipe it away, can't for a moment even think of wiping it away because the wound of the sentence is still op
Dario Malic
Ovaj kratki Krasznahorkaiev tekst popraćen Neumannovim ilustracijama je svojevrsni manifest našeg skrivenog, primordijalnog "ja". Ono želi izaći iz kaveza kulture i civilizacije, upozorava nas da je tu, (od)uvijek prisutno, da mu ne možemo uteći, i prijeti nam da će uništiti sve što znamo pa i nas same kad se uspije osloboditi. Krasznahorkai postavlja pred nas zrcalo u kojem se ogledava naša prošlost (sadašnjost?), na taj način nam skrećući pozornost na opasnost koju kao ljudi predstavljamo za s ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Denzil rated it it was amazing
More a pamphlet than a book but a very beautiful thing (until you spill coffee on it, never mind). Very well reproduced prints of paintings by max neuman with a short pieces from krasznahorkai inspired by the artwork. This works extremely well, the writing is him at his darkest and most apocalyptic but as always there is a strain of humour and mischief which runs through the whole work. Some of the pieces are just mesmerising.
Dec 21, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Using a series of paintings by Max Neumann as his starting point, Krasznahorkai gives us vignettes on the destructive power of fear. The New Directions version of Neumann's paintings is better than the Cahiers version, if that matters to you. (With the ND version, I could smell the inks used, which are piled on thick enough to give the pictures textures.)
Apr 23, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
An erudite preface by Colm Tòibín offers a good introduction to Krasznahorkai. The fourteen vignettes that follow are menacing, humorous, thought provoking studies on the "animal" inside.
This collaboration between writer and illustrator (Max Neumann) reminded me of the book, "Sun, Moon, Star" by Kurt Vonnegut and Ivan Chermayeff.
Aug 05, 2016 Carolyn rated it liked it
A precise and desperate book which, after having plunged myself into a certain neurotism, somehow permitted an escape unharmed. Festering with unease, I asked myself many questions about the indexes of civilization within the forty-odd pages of this novella. I am still fearful of the world as it is hued by Krasznahorkai. There are still many queries left unanswered.
Christian Kiefer
Jan 29, 2012 Christian Kiefer rated it it was ok
I love Krasznahorkai for his darkly experimental approach to language but this one was just so-so. Max Neumann's images are interesting but the combination of image and text could have done much more than it actually did.
Enrique Saad
Enrique Saad rated it really liked it
May 16, 2015
Philip Bardach
Philip Bardach rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2011
Keith rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2015
André Ferenc
André Ferenc rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2012
Ryan rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2015
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  • Kornél Esti
  • The Literary Conference
  • Tranquility
  • Microscripts
  • Sinistra körzet
  • The Guinea Pigs
  • The Letter Left to Me
  • Never Any End to Paris
  • My Two Worlds
  • The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories
  • A Journey Round My Skull
  • The Cardboard House
  • A Breath of Life
  • Take Five
  • Maidenhair
  • A Book of Memories
  • Autoportrait
  • Senselessness
László Krasznahorkai is the difficult, peculiar, obsessive, visionary Hungarian author of eight novels.

He is probably best known through the oeuvre of the director Béla Tarr, who has collaborated with him on several movies. He is also the 2015 Man Booker International Prize Winner.

More about László Krasznahorkai...

Other Books in the Series

Cahier Series (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Translating Music
  • Walking on Air
  • Circles of Silence
  • Drunken Boats
  • Proust, Blanchot and a Woman in Red
  • Text on Textile
  • Days Bygone
  • When the Pie Was Opened
  • Notes from the Hall of Uselessness
  • Józef Czapski: A Life in Translation (Cahiers)

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