"...in this case music-comes into being, is born, unfolds but then it's all over, no more, what must come as has, the realm dies away and yet lived on in this divine form, for all eternity its echo remains, for we may evoke it, as we do evoke it to this very day and hall evoke it for as long as we can, even if as an ever more faint reflection of the original, a tired and ever more uncertain echo..."
This is more than a book. This is not just a collection of stories that seemingly wonder along a worldly landscape, ping ponging from country to country. Or just a shallow breeze that reminds you of an intricate plot twist, crawling with indelible characters. Seiobo There Below is a work of art. It is Picasso. And Dali. And Pollack. It is perfectly random and beautifully carved out of words that will resonate throughout your library for years to come. In fact this might just be the most exquisite book you will ever own. Owning it is a must, as the depths of its contents surely will morph and transform with life's passing moments. Very rarely have I come across a piece of literature that has moved me the way this book has and I highly recommend it.
Each chapter, numbered in the Finonacci sequence, tells a different story that connects to much bigger supposition. Determining what that abstraction is will vary from reader to reader; much like the interpretation of a fine work of art. Some will see tragedy, others triumph. All will grasp the value of the artist that is the main congruent vehicle throughout the book. In most cases, each of the independent stories are about something or someone that is laboring to create something. A heron struggling to sustain it's place in the food chain, a Japanese mask maker short on inspiration and a tourist blinded by the beauty of his life long dream to experience the Parthenon, to name a few. While each chapter is unique and has its own cultural backdrop, the stories are held together by hope itself. Anticipation of beauty can take many forms and does in this work.
Seiobo There Below is a challenge to read. The author's style uses essentially no periods and has the dream like feel of a single stream of thought. I found that reading a chapter then stopping helped me digest what my eyes were absorbing in the pages and I will be returning to re read certain chapters in the future. This book is packed with both a practical philosophy and a spiritual substance that is decidedly worth the journey. The title itself refers to a Japanese Shinto Goddess and her tree of immortality; appropriately named considering the lasting effect of reading this book. Holidays are right around the corner and this book will make for the perfect gift to anyone who loves erudition or has an infinity for thought provoking literature. Krasznahorkai has penned a true epoch and I feel fortunate that I was listening to NPR last month when it was mentioned in book releases. Shout out to the Motherland, Hungarians rule.