The independent foreign fiction prize shortlist 2013

The Detour by
Gerbrand Bakker
Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer
Harvill Secker

Bundu by
Chris Barnard
Translated from the Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns
Alma Books

Trieste by
Daša Drndić
Translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursac
MacLehose Press

The Fall of the Stone City by
Ismail Kadare
Translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson
Canongate

Traveller of the Century by
Andrés Neuman
Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia
Pushkin Press

Dublinesque by
Enrique Vila-Matas
Translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean
Harvill Secker

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The shadow Iffp 2013

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Well I nearly got it right with my guessing post ,last week but the offical Independent foreign fiction prize is out .Like last year I will be doing a shadow jury for this prize I am again joined by Lisa ,Tony ,Gary and Mark.We will be trying to read as many of the longlist as we all can in the time between longlist and shortlist .I have a great start as I have read eleven of the book and have reviews for nine of them on the blog .We will again choose our own shortlist and winner ,my feeling is ours and the actual shortlist may be quite near as there to me are a number of great books on this list that be on a shortlist any year .I ll be doing a page with links to reviews by everyone when we have a few as at moment it feels like I am showing off reading so many .If you want get involved with reading this year and want read less the Booktrust have organised a reading group from the shortlist stage here ,be lovely to see some other blogs join in that maybe don’t read many translations to expand the discussion on this wonderful year .Paul at Maclehose on twitter called it the best ever longlist I agree it is the strongest in recent years .

Death in the Family, A

A Death In the Family by
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Translated from the Norweigian by Don Bartlett

The Detourby
Gerbrand Bakker
Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer

hhhh laurent binet
HHhH by
Laurence Binet
Translated from the French by Sam Taylor

 
The Sound of Things Falling by
Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean
The Last of the Vostyachsby
Diego Marani
Translated from the Italian by Judith Landry

Shadow reviews
Cold Sea Stories by
Pawel Huelle
Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
The Fall of the Stone City by
Ismail Kadare
Translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson
Black Bazaar by
Alain Mabanckou
Translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone
Bundu by
Chris Barnard
Translated from the Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns

Dublinesque
Dublinesque by
Enrique Vila-Matas
Translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean
In Praise of Hatredby
Khalid Khalifa
Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price

 

The Murder of Halland by
Pia Juul
Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitke

Satantango
Satantango by
Laszlo Krasznahorkai
Translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes
Silent House by
Orhan Pamuk
Translated from the original Turkish by Robert Finn
Traveller of the Century by
Andrés Neuman
Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia
Trieste by
Daša Drndić
Translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursac

 

Satantango by László Krasznahorkai

Satantango

Satantango by László Krasznahorkai

Hungarian fiction

Original title Sátántangó

Translator – George Szirtes

Source -review copy

Well after a year of going how am I going do this wonderful book Justice and a rereading (which is rare for me ) .I feel with it being named on this year’s IFFP longlist I am finally able to review it .So László Krasznahorkai is probably alongside his fellow Hungarian write Peter Nadas the best know Hungarian writer .He studied Hungarian literature and Language at university and after he qualified he became a writer straight away .Satantango although his third novel to appear in English was actually his debut novel .The book was also made into a seven hour film by the well-known director Béla Tarr nine years after the book came out in 1985 .I did watch the film many years ago but remember it being slow and very tough to follow at point but the main feel was the feeling of an Isolate community in flux due to one man .

” I beg your pardon ,I didn’t get that ” .”Your Name!” “Irimias” His answer rings out ,as if he were proud of it .The captain puts a cigarette in the side of his mouth ,lights it with a clumsy movement ,throws the burning match into the ashtray and puts it out with the matchbox .”I see ,so you only have one name ” Irimias nods cheerfully “doesn’t everyone ?”

The first encounter with Irimias

So Satantango the novel its self is the story of a remote farming community working on a dying collective farm .The people who are there are drinking to forget and have a wholly bleak outlook on life .The book builds a glimpse of there lives when this man /devil arrives Irimias and his friend servant sidekick Petrina .Now when these two enter its starts a chain of events that seize the village and the people there in change greatly ,outburst of violence and revenge ,some horrific scenes to what is a bleak dark grey world already .Is he the devil well the is some feeling he has gone from the village and returned ,but has he change has the village change ,has the way he has changed set the village of the way it has ?

Quietly ,continually ,the rain fell and the inconsolable wind that died then was forever resurrected ruffled the still surfaces of the puddles so lightly it failed to disturbed the delicate dead skin that had covered them during the night so instead of recovering the previous days tired glitter they increasingly and remorselessly absorb the light that swam slowly from the east .

This place is so bleakly describe by Krasznahorkai

Well that is enough about the story it hard to describe without spoiling the book and the fact there is so much I could quite easily write a thousand words on the story but then it be spoiler filled .So where does this book fit in the grand scene of things ? Well it is easy to draw comparisons to feel central European figures writing at the same time or just before Krasznahorkai people such as Thomas Bernhard ,Peter Nadas ,Milan Kundera and Witold Gombrowicz it falls nicely in with them style wise it is what is described as modernist the book drifts from the observed ,to the imagine and back .Of course the bleak setting and over all feel of despair brings to mind Beckett for some review’s I’ve read .But for me I felt this book had a lot of central European mythology ,that has been brought to the modern age and also what makes myths, a man who may or not lived some where returns things happen ,this is what start the witch hunts of the past the return stranger ,a figure , a being ,even animals that have thus cause chaos ,in isolate communities strangers or people who have appear to change because they have been to the outside world are always the catalyst for change so here Irimias is that catalyst or as they have been called the bogeyman ,the devil or the many names that have appear in European mythology over the centuries .The book is also a hard-hitting polemic in the reason why collective farming in communism had failed the despair and hopelessness of the characters is there to see on the page .Although written nearly thirty years ago this book is still as fresh today as the day it was written in fact I would say its influence can be seen in other books particularly the book I read last year Hansens Children another book more recent about the fall of a remote community during communism .A tango with the devil indeed rather like the book that build from chapters up then down you be left breathless wanting more and thinking for the rest of your life about what happen in this book .

Have you read this book ?

 

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