The Melancholy of Resistance, by László Krasznahorkai

The second book I’ve read by this author (the other being Satantango) and written in a similar style. The rarely ending wall of text sucks you in to the overwhelming story and crushes you into nothingness by the end.

The story describes a small town in Hungary that is visited by a circus, and the ensuing chaos this triggers. The most impressive thing to me, was the level of destruction described. Not just the destruction of the town, but the destruction of the personalities and minds of the characters. In one moment the characters (most of them) go from seeing the world as an intrinsically beautiful and mysterious place, to seeing it as pure chaos where only strength rules. Only those characters who were already cynical and power hungry are able to use the chaos to seize control. This book seems to capture reality very well.

The more I read about history, the more I look at our current world, the more I realize that justice is a myth, ‘love triumphs’ is a myth, ‘the truth will set you free’ is a myth, ‘karma’ is a myth, ‘history will prove us right’ is a myth. Evil is rewarded over and over and over, by power, riches, and immortality. All the stories we tell ourselves about good defeating evil are nothing but false hope sold to us by that same evil. There is nothing and no one coming to save us, never has been. There are no heroes beyond metaphorical ones, fictional ones, or ineffectual ones. The only hope, perhaps, is to stop putting our faith and trust in individuals, and start acting as a collective. The strong few will always control the weak many, unless those many act as one.


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