A mountain to the North, a lake to the South, paths to the West, a river to the East (pocket guide)

László Krasznahorkai

Book - 2022

"The grandson of Prince Genji lives outside of space and time and wanders the grounds of an old monastery in Kyoto. The monastery, too, is timeless: a place of prayer and deliverance, with barely a trace of any human presence. The wanderer is searching for a garden that has long captivated him: "he continu- ally saw the garden in his mind's eye without being able to touch its existence." This exquisitely beautiful novel by National Book Award-winner László Krasznahorkai-perhaps his most serene and poetic work-describes a search for the unobtainable and the riches to be discovered along the way. Despite the difficulties in finding the garden, the reader is closely introduced to the construction processes of the monaster...y (described in poetic detail) as well as the geological and biological processes of the surrounding area (the underground layers revealed beneath a bed of moss, the travels of cypress- tree seeds on the wind, feral foxes and stray dogs meandering outside the monastery's walls), making this an unforgettable meditation on nature, life, history, and being"--

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New York : New Directions Publishing 2022.
Main Author
László Krasznahorkai (author)
Other Authors
Ottilie Mulzet (translator)
First edition
Physical Description
pages cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The hermetic latest from Krasznahorkai (Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming) finds the author in a meditative mode. From a vantage point undefined in time or space, the grandson of the legendary Prince Genji arrives at an ancient monastery in Kyoto and sets about exploring its grounds. The reader is made privy to its walls and relics, the artifacts of the buddhas and bodhisattvas tended by its monks, every brick in its antique craftsmanship enumerated in Krasznahorkai's breathless prose. Silk scrolls, tomes compiled by venerated scholars, and a treatise called The Infinite Mistake by Sir Wilford Stanley Gilmore (one of the author's recurring characters) are all of equal interest to Prince Genji's grandson as he makes his way toward the center of the temple, until his history, and that of countless dynasties that have come before, blur together. The narrative is entirely bereft of action, with Krasznahorkai dwelling for its duration on the secrets of the monastery, which, though captivating, add up more to exercise than story. Still, it's a virtuosic performance by a master. (Nov.)

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