Known for his brilliantly dark fictional visions, L?szl? 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.?
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