Chad Post's Reviews > Animalinside

Animalinside by László Krasznahorkai
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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 Krasznahorkai's THE MELANCHOLY OF RESISTANCE (and look forward to reading WAR & WAR when there's time and peace), but this is something else. Reading this is being the presence of a master. Of a Beckett or a Kafka or a Joyce or a whomever floats your literary boat. What's undeniable is that this is something special that manages to be universal and mysterious, pointed and metaphorical all at once.

I'm prone to hyperbole (as Ed Nawotka likes to remind me when editing my articles), so I want to include a snippet . . . although even that's a bit tricky, since most of these 14 pieces are each one long, meandering, subclause upon subclause, emotive gathering sentence each. (Or maybe a couple sentences.) But whatever. Here's a bit that will give you a sense of the rhythm, the power of this:

"Shut tight your gates, and plug up the cracks, put up the beams and bring out the barbed wire, and protect yourselves from all sides, but know that you lock up in vain, you plug in vain, you raise beams in vain and wrap wire in vain, for that chink, that groove, that crevice which would be an obstacle for me does not exist; but it is just for that reason that you should barricade your gates and board up your windows, brick up your chimneys and protect yourselves, because I will break out, and I will arrive, and of course lock up your children well, and of course arm yourselves with many weapons, and organize your defense, and station the security guards, pull up the cordon and put the land-mines in place, just go ahead and do it, just get ready"

As so on for another 30 lines or so . . . Each section is hypnotic, and taken as a whole, it's pretty damn powerful.

Anyway, I'm 100% sure all my most bookish, Euro-centric friends will LOVE this little thing, which is so gorgeous that it's not just a book, but a true piece of art. And kudos to New Directions for distributing this Stateside. Ass and kicking. I can't recommend this enough.
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Reading Progress

September 23, 2010 – Started Reading
September 23, 2010 – Shelved
Finished Reading

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