I’ve said a thousand times that I always wanted to write just one book. Now, with Baron, I can close this story. With this novel I can prove that I really wrote just one book in my life. This is the book–Satantango, Melancholy, War and War, and Baron. This is my one book.
—László Krasznahorkai (The Paris Review Interview)

At last, the capstone to Krasznahorkai’s four-part masterwork

Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming

Fiction by László Krasznahorkai

Translated by Ottilie Mulzet

Set in contemporary times, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming tells the story of a Prince Myshkin–like figure, Baron Béla Wenckheim, who returns at the end of his life to his provincial Hungarian hometown. Having escaped from his many casino debts in Buenos Aires, where he was living in exile, he longs to be reunited with his high-school sweetheart Marika. Confusions abound, and what follows is an endless storm of gossip, con men, and local politicians, vividly evoking the small town’s alternately drab and absurd existence. All along, the Professor–a world-famous natural scientist who studies mosses and inhabits a bizarre Zen-like shack in a desolate area outside of town—offers long rants and disquisitions on his attempts to immunize himself from thought. Spectacular actions are staged as death and the abyss loom over the unsuspecting townfolk.

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Clothbound (published September 24, 2019)

ISBN
9780811226646
Price US
29.95
Trim Size
5 x 8"
Page Count
576

Ebook

ISBN
9780811226653
I’ve said a thousand times that I always wanted to write just one book. Now, with Baron, I can close this story. With this novel I can prove that I really wrote just one book in my life. This is the book–Satantango, Melancholy, War and War, and Baron. This is my one book.
—László Krasznahorkai (The Paris Review Interview)
Krasznahorkai constantly pushes beyond the expected, escalating everything to the brink of deliriousness.
—Idra Novey, The New York Times Book Review
A master of peripatetic, never-ending sentences that brim over with vacillations, qualifications, and false epiphanies.
—Will Harrison, Hudson Review

A literary heir to Kafka, Beckett, and Dostoyevsky: Krasznahorkai’s genius has been his ability to absorb the tectonic changes of politics and culture into his singular style. His challenge of despair is applicable under any economic system. Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is his latest, longest, strangest, and possibly greatest novel—suffused with nihilism, but deeply funny. The absurd is more absurd, the incomprehensible more incomprehensible than ever. And yet, though it has its confrontations with despair and nihilism, Wenckheim is the funniest of Krasznahorkai’s novels.

The Baffler
Krasznahorkai’s fictions emit a recognizably entropic music. His novels—equal parts artful attenuation and digressive deluge—suggest a Beckettian impulse overwhelmed by obsessive proclivities. The epic length of a Krasznahorkai sentence slowly erodes its own reality, clause by scouring clause, until at last it releases the terrible darkness harbored at its core. Baron Wenkcheim’s Homecoming is a fitting capstone to Krasznahorkai’s tetralogy, one of the supreme achievements of contemporary literature.
Paris Review Daily
László Krasznahorkai’s masterpiece—a manic Greek chorus that infuses festive Technicolor into his multifaceted, bleak vision. Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming calls into question our acceptance of the crippling status quo, delivering universal truths in a way that few books can anymore. It is precisely the novel we need in these difficult, foreboding times. His funniest and most profound book and, quite possibly, also his most accessible.
The Millions
Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is masterly work set in the tragic, ridiculous pandemonium of a village far from Budapest, teetering on the brink of disaster—a novel that both breaks new ground and looks back to Krasznahorkai’s earliest work. It is also said to be his last.
—J. W. McCormack, Publishers Weekly
This vortex of a novel compares neatly with Dostoevsky and shows Krasznahorkai at the absolute summit of his decades-long project. Apocalyptic, visionary, and mad, it flies off the page and stays lodged intractably wherever it lands.
Publishers Weekly
If you’re a fan of Krasznahorkai, you already know that you need to read this one: the final volume in his four-part series, in which the aging Baron Bela Wenckheim proceeds home to Hungary, to the highly absurd town of his birth.
—Emily Temple, LitHub
The baron cuts a memorable figure, but the real star of Krasznahorkai’s story is a philosopher who has cut himself off from society and lives in hermitage in a forest park, concerned with problems of being and nonbeing. In the end, the worlds the philosopher, the baron, and other characters inhabit are slated to disappear in a wall of flame.
Kirkus Reviews
Is this a funeral march? If so, it is the craziest one to have ever been composed. Astounding.
Die Zeit
The Hungarian master of the apocalypse.
—Susan Sontag
A vision of painstaking beauty.
NPR
His work tends to get passed around like rare currency. One of the most profoundly unsettling experiences I have had as a reader.
—James Wood, The New Yorker
One of the most mysterious artists now at work.
—Colm Tóibín
The universality of Krasznahorkai’s vision rivals that of Gogol’s Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing.
—W. G. Sebald
Hungarian maestro László Krasznahorkai is laconic and shrewd, as practical as he is existential, capable of wresting huge laughs as well as immense profundity from the commonplace and the way in which we choose to respond to it.
—Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
László Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer of extraordinary intensity and vocal range who captures the texture of present-day existence in scenes that are terrifying, strange, appallingly comic, and often shatteringly beautiful.
—Marina Warner, Announcing the Man Booker International Prize