In the darkening embers of a Communist utopia, life in a desolate Hungarian town has come to a virtual standstill. Flies buzz, spiders weave, water drips and animals root desultorily in the barnyard of a collective farm. But when the charismatic Irimias - long-thought dead - returns to the commune, the villagers fall under his spell. The Devil has arrived in their midst.
Irimias will divide and rule: his arrival heralds the beginning of a period of violence and greed for the villagers as he sets about swindling them out of a fortune that might allow them to escape the emptiness and futility of their existence. He soon attains a messianic aura as he plays on the fears of the townsfolk and a series of increasingly brutal events unfold.
Satantango follows the villagers as they are exploited and taken in by Irimias; as they drink and stumble their way toward the gradual realization of their mistake and ultimate demise. In its measured prose and long, Tolstoyan sentences, Satantango is nothing short of a literary masterpiece; a formal meditation on death and avarice, human fallibility and faith.
Intoxicating and exhilarating, bleak yet beautiful, Satantango is a modern masterpiece that manages to speak both of its time and to transcend it altogether Beth Jones Sunday Telegraph
László Krasznahorkai, geboren 1954 in Gyula/Ungarn, studierte Philosophie an der Budapester Universität. Er erhielt für sein literarisches Schaffen zahlreiche Preise, u. a. 1996 ein Stipendium des Wissenschaftskollegs Berlin und 2015 den Man Booker International Prize für sein Lebenswerk. László Krasznahorkai lebt heute als freier Autor in Pilisszentlászló.