Wild and wonderful
—Adam Thirlwell, The Guardian

A joyful ode—in a single soaring, crazy sentence—to the interconnectedness of great (and mad) minds

Available June 30, 2020

Spadework for a Palace

Fiction by László Krasznahorkai

Translated from the Hungarian by John Batki

Spadework for a Palace bears the subtitle “Entering the Madness of Others” and offers an epigraph: “Reality is no obstacle.” Indeed. This high-octane obsessive rant vaults over all obstacles, fueled by the idées fixe of a “gray little librarian” with fallen arches whose name—mr herman melvill—is merely one of the coincidences binding him to his lodestar Herman Melville (“I too resided on East 26th Street . . . I, too, had worked for a while at the Customs Office”), which itself is just one aspect of his also being “constantly conscious of his connectedness” to Lebbeus Woods, to the rock that is Manhattan, to the “drunkard Lowry” and his Lunar Caustic, to Bartok. And with this consciousness of connection he is not only gaining true knowledge of Melville but also tracing the paths to “a Serene Paradise of Knowledge.” Driven to save that Palace (a higher library he also serves), he loses his job and his wife leaves him, but “people must be told the truth”: THERE IS NO DUALISM IN EXISTENCE. And his dream will be “realized, for I am not giving up: I am merely a day-laborer, a spade-worker on this dream, a herman melvill, a librarian from the lending desk, currently an inmate at Bellevue, but at the same time—may I say this?—actually a Keeper of the Palace.”

Editions: ClothboundEbook

Buy from:

Clothbound (published June 30, 2020)

ISBN
9780811228404
Price US
14.95
Trim Size
6.75x9.25
Page Count
64

Ebook

ISBN
9780811228411
Wild and wonderful
—Adam Thirlwell, The Guardian
Krasznahorkai establishes his own rules and rides a wave of exhilarating energy. Apocalyptic, visionary, and mad, it flies off the page and stays lodged intractably wherever it lands.
—*Publishers Weekly (Starred)
A celebration of tiny moments of odd, inexplicable joy.
NPR
One of the most important—and eccentric—writers working today.
—Hari Kunzru, The Spectator