A celebration of tiny moments of odd, inexplicable joy.


A magnificent new collection of stories by “the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse” (Susan Sontag)

The World Goes On

Fiction by László Krasznahorkai

Translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes Ottilie Mulzet John Batki

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Clothbound (published December 5, 2017)

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Ebook (published November 28, 2017)


The World Goes On is a labyrinth of parallel universes that echo and correspond to one another, creating, with each new story, a déjà vu like effect that renders the reader’s escape into linear clarity nearly impossible. Moreover, the broad scope of this collection clarifies the various links between Krasznahorkai’s recurrent themes and the importance of his stylistic innovation…

Music & Literature

The stories in The World Goes On are the reading equivalent of climbing a volcano instead of sitting by the beach on your honeymoon. But the rewards — the sudden, knife-like insights so cerebral they seem the work of an alien intelligence — are worth the effort.

Star Tribune

One begins a Krasznahorkai story like a free diver, with a deep inhalation before plunging in. His fiction is not faithful to literary convention, but it is faithful to life. The extended periods of quiescence, the isolated glimpses of the sublime, the portentous images signifying nothing, the mundane images signifying everything, the arbitrary eruptions of horror and beauty—though Krasznahorkai’s technique relies upon artifice, the result is an honest, courageous, often harrowing portrait of a civilization in drift and decline.

The Atlantic

One of the most mysterious artists now at work.

—Colm Tóibín

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)

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

Krasznahorkai is the kind of writer who at least once on every page finds a perfect way of expressing something one has always sensed but never known, let alone been able to describe.

—Nicole Krauss

Krasznahorkai aims for unsettling irresolution and nails it in a way reminiscent of Kafka.

—Publishers Weekly

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

I love Krasznahorkai’s books. His long, meandering sentences enchant me, and even if his universe appears gloomy, we always experience that transcendence which to Nietzsche represented metaphysical consolation.

—Imre Kertész

Krasznahorkai’s fiction is apocalyptic in the original sense: concerned with the time when ordinary, blinkered perception gives way to revelation, when the veil is rent and we see things in their true and terrifying form. The World Goes On, a collection of 20 short stories plus a coda, serves as a wonderful primer to the ‘invisible gigasystem’ that is the Krasznahorkai universe.

Boston Globe

A celebration of tiny moments of odd, inexplicable joy.


Thought-provoking and meditative…From Russian cosmonauts to despairing bishops to beleaguered bankers, the threads of forsaking and being forsaken weave like a nervous system through dense, philosophical prose.

Harper’s Bazaar

Our current condition of displacement, says László Krasznahorkai in The World Goes On, cannot be told; only with great difficulty can language be budged out of endless spirallings of frustration. But then the collection goes on to offer stories of journeys that, whether undertaken or thwarted, arrive at transcendence. At the end there is only one way to go, in what has to be the most powerful page written so far this century.

—Paul Griffiths, TLS

A treasure trove of 21 idiosyncratic stories. Endlessly intriguing.


Russian cosmonauts, a waterfall-obsessed interpreter in Shanghai teetering on the edge of sanity, and a Portuguese child laborer who escapes his toils by wandering into an alternate reality … The World Goes On [is] a philosophically-charged new collection of stories about characters that are being pushed (figuratively or literally) to the edges of the world.

Los Angeles Magazine

Sly and elegant

—Saul Anton, 4Columns

Utterly three dimensional.


A masterpiece of invention

The Guardian

Krasznahorkai questions language, history, and what we take to be facts, all the while rocketing from one corner of the world to the next, from Budapest to Varanasi to Okinawa…

Kirkus Review