The Melancholy of Resistance

Book online The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai,George Szirtes

Original Title:

Az ellenállás melankóliája

Published:

2002

Book raiting:

4 stars

(4/5)

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Comment 1:

"This" "Author" "Loves" "To" "Put" "Things" "In" "Quotes"...I am not sure the point of this, but it can get kind of "annoying"..."See" "what" "I" "mean".....As far as the story goes, pretty good so far, though I do not know what's going on really...I hope it will reveal itself to me...As far as I know, some old woman was being chased on a train and harassed by an unshaven man in an overcoat..(this was a pretty interesting scenario and well described)...then she is at her apartment and some friend she hates comes over and is harassing her...then she went for a walk, gets harassed some more and then sees a huge trailer driving through the town with some weird circus...then she has a monologue about some revolution shit and apathy or something while walking near the center of town while some dudes hang around fires and harass her yet again. Something tells me this character is prone to harassment... Anyways, I am pretty lost right now...I think she is thinking to herself about things...or its the friend that's thinking...I am totally confused and you probably are too by this review... I am not sure what's going on as of now..I am having difficulty reading the book, not because the author is bad, convoluted, or difficult to follow due to long and drawn out scenes; but because I did not properly learn to read and comprehend until roughly the 9th grade...This should come as no surprise to you all...Apparently reading/writing is still an issue with me that has gone unresolved and unforeseen for all these years and has been masked behind condescending snide remarks to anyone that brings it to my attention...I suppose this is a defense mechanism...My apologies to those I have hurt in the past...Anyways, the author elaborates on situations, thoughts, and events in an almost obsessive/long winded way, which is a bit cool and original, though confusing sometimes... At times, the writing seems a bit amateury(?) I think ...Though in the very next sentences, it has windows of beautifully written work (see below quotes)... I can't make heads or tails of this book...I don't know...I am being "patient" though. This is something I have been meaning to work on...Hopefully I can maintain this "patience" much like I can maintain the patience of balding and getting fat and old...Wow, disregard everything earlier. This book just got a whole three times better starting on page 63 "the werkmeister harmonies"...Unfortunately, this review got a hundred times worse...Whatever you write one then, lazy asshole...I'm going to the western bar in town tonight... its ladies night.... Perhaps I will get lucky...I can't believe you have read this far...OK, I didn't get lucky at the shitty western bar, fuckin' bullshit...Anyways, the story has started to fuckin' (sorry, I am in a sweary mood) suck again and be boring and drawn out. All that misanthropy shit has vanished. I don't know... I can't follow this shit! I am going to finish though, for all you people that follow my wonderful reviews (no one cares...)...I will suffer to get through it! Mark my words!!!!(no one cares, no one is even reading these shitty reviews, you jackass). I know how important this is to everyone!! (people don't find this important at all, get off your high horse, you pompous retard)...Shit, now it is good again. There is a lot going on here with comparing reality to what is ideal. Coming to terms with reality and our fantasies. This is well illustrated with the reference to trying to hit a nail with a hammer and the results. The actual hitting of the nail and what we visually in our minds. How I say it sounds trite and dumb, but it is well explained in the book... Quite interesting and some profound, deeply philosophical stuff...Some Nietzche stuff and some Kant stuff come to mind (like I know who those people are and what they wrote)...Why is this review so goddamn long, Jesus...Remember when I had a girlfriend and a healthy and active social life and didn't have to resort to writing these shitty reviews? Anything involving the Professor of Musicology (Professor Eszter) is cool. Every time you read his name or read him speaking, cool shit is about to happen...Well, nothing really matters and people get swept up in things (revolution in this case), I guess that’s the Melancholy of Resistance. It’s kind of all bullshit or something. I feel the idea was that people were swept up in political ideology and couldn’t fully express this in reality so it turned to violence? I don’t know…They needed a leader, but didn’t have one and couldn’t think for themselves in how to express their lack of individual power so in frustration, they turned to violence?? Striving to search for humanity in life, but usually the opposite occurs?? Striving for perfection, ideology versus reality and the escape from boredom and banality of life? People not knowing why they do things, and just do them for no good reason? I don’t know…The story never clearly defined why people were acting violently and revolutionary the way they were, which left it a bit mysterious to what drives certain movements…conformity? Emotions? Magic? All that was defined was the charismatic cigar wielding circus master and the whale…these where reasons for the revolution??? They came to town and whipped the town into a frenzy…from boredom?? I don’t know, I am making this probably way more complicated than it should be and asking open ended dumb questions… sorry…We don’t define what is happening until after the fact and in retrospect (Mrs. Eszter becoming a powerful figure in the end)…I don’t know…This was some dense shit at times……sorry…I will stop trying to be analytical…Anyways, the book jumps around a lot and can be hard to follow…Also, the translation is amazing (done by George Szirtes). I could not find one error, which is pretty impressive considering most translations blow and are done very half assed…Somewhere I read that Melancholy of Resistance is comparable to Gogol. I guess this is most apparent in the last 20 pages or so. A situation occurs involving a man, an overcoat, and getting stabbed. This is very similar to “the overcoat” by Gogol. I feel it was a nod to Gogol during this part. However, this is the only similarity I can make between Gogol and this book. I could be wrong, I am no Gogol expert…The last 4 pages of the book are absolutely genius…It touches on the Plato’s writ at large, about politics, revolution, death, life, decomposition, chemical changes…Everlasting life…Everything and all will change form and stuff alike…And nothing really make’s sense…sorry for dumbing this part down and stripping it of all artistic merit, I am not a genius writer…what I read is just shitted out here absent of any redeeming quality…sorry…The book ends with some pleasant meta stuff… I would give it four stars but between the beginning and the ending, there is a whole lot of bullshit to tolerate… for the most part (except quotes below and when Professor Eszter is in the picture). Because of that, I feel I wasted a lot of time when this book could have been way shorter…I felt obligated to finish the book because I lived in Budapest for a year and felt somewhat connected to it…Not that you care….Anyways, the movie is better…Below is the link…Watch it!...Anyways I am glad it is all over...Jesus...Quotes:"...such things would serve no purpose since the world will quite happily fall apart by itself and go to wrack and ruin so that everything may begin again, and so proceed ad infinitum and this is as perfectly clear,' he raised his eyes to the ceiling, 'as our helpless orbiting in space" once started it cannot be stopped.' Eszter shut his eyes. 'I'm feeling dizzy; I'm dizzy and, God forgive me, bored, like everyone else who has succeeded in ridding himself of the notion that there is any suggestion of rhyme or reason in making or breaking, in birth or death, in this constant and agonizing going round in circles, postulating some enormous wonderful plan rather than a cold, mechanical, blindingly simple movement...""Because he wanted to forget everything he had had to suffer during the decades of his so-called directorship of the academy of music: those grinding attacks of idiocy, the blank ignorant look in people's eyes, the utter lack of burgeoning intelligence in the young, the rotten smell of spirtual dullness and the oppressive power of pettiness, smugness and low expectation under the weight of which he himself had almost collapsed. He wanted to forget the urchins who eyes unmistakably glittered with a desire to set about that hated piano with an axe; the Grand Symphony Orchestra he was obliged to assemble from the ranks of assorted drunken tutors and misty-eyed music lovers; the thunderous applause with which the unsuspecting but enthusiastic public, month after month, rewarded this scandalous, unimaginably awful band of incompetents whose slender talents were not fit to grace a village wedding...in short, 'the whole breeding ground of dark stupidity'...""we are simply the miserable subjects of some insignificant failure, alone in this simply marvelous creation; that the whole of human history is no more, if I may make myself clear to you, than the histrionics of a stupid, bloody, miserable outcast in an obscure corner of a vast stage, a kind of tortured confession of error, a slow acknowledgement of the painful fact that this creation was not necessarily a brilliant success.""the exclusively human capacity for mind numbing levels of neglect and indifference was, beyond a doubt, truly limitless.""No trumpets, no riders of the apocalypse but mankind swallowed without a fuss or ceremony by its own rubbish? 'not an altogether surprising end,'""The only revolutionary feeling he was aware of, or so he considered while standing in the doorway, was pride, his own pride, a pride that did not allow him to understand that there was no qualitative difference between things, a presumptuous over-confidence which condemned him to ultimate disillusion, for to live according to the spirit of qualitative difference requires superhuman qualities.""He adjusted his deep-claret-coloured smoking jacket, linked the fingers of his hands together behind his neck, and, as he noticed the feeble ticking of his watch, suddenly realized that he had been escaping all his life, that life had been a constant escape, escape from meaningless into music, from music to guilt, from guilt and self-punishment into pure ratiocination, and finally escape from that too, that it was retreat after retreat, as if his guardian angel had, in his own peculiar fashion, been steering him to the antithesis of retreat, to an almost simple-minded acceptance of things as they were, at which point he understood that there was nothing to be understood, that if there was reason in the world it far transcended his own, and that therefore it was enough to notice and observe that which he actually possessed."“…it simply didn’t exist; and thinking this he fully acknowledged for the first time the justice of Mr. Eszter’s contention that chaos really was the natural condition of the world and, this being eternally the case, you simply couldn’t begin to predict the course of events. It’s not even worth trying, thought Valuska, and wiggled his aching toes inside his cold boots; it’s as pointless to predict as to judge, since even the words ‘chaos’ and ‘outcome’ are entirely redundant, there being nothing one can posit as their antitheses, which further implies that the very act of naming is enough to put paid to them, for ‘there is simply one damned thing after another’- this was etched into their very meaning- so any connection they might appear to have with each other is wholly based on a series of confusing contradictions.”“Anyone who believes that the world is maintained through the grace of some force for good or beauty, dear friend, is doomed to early disillusion.”'This part is after the person speaking committed some brutal crimes….“I dunno how you see it, I mean whether, what with my record, I could still be a policeman, but when Vulture came round to see if I felt like volunteering, provided I told you everything dead straight, I thought…yea, Ill volunteer…’cause, me, I think I could be a useful member of society, though I dunno what you think about this couple of mistakes I made, I mean, well…”**“…that, beside its own ignorance, the public prized nothing so much as novelty, the greater the novelty the better, and the thing they treated in such a whimsical fashion was the very thing they most voraciously demanded.”

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