For almost a decade now, [New Directions Publishing] has doggedly been bringing the late, late Hungarian modernist László Krasznahorkai’s novels of impassioned decrepitude and finely cadenced apocalypticism into English. Next year will see the much-anticipated translation of his “Satantango.” To tide us over until then we now have the publication in the Cahiers Writing and Translation series of “AnimalInside,” his collaboration with German Jewish neo-expressionist painter Max Neumann.
Krasznahorkai originally wrote a text in the third person to illustrate a painting of Neumann’s. In it, a ferocious black beast is suspended and elongated mid leap along the contours of a bare pastel expanse. Posts, fuzzy architectural motifs and the occasional outline of a human figure inhabit the beast’s barbed wire-enveloped world. The entire text is composed of his letting loose a primordial howl in impotent rage:
: László Krasznahorkai