KRASZNAHORKAI AND COOMBE JUNCTION:THE BRANCH LINE: A COLLAGE

“Since the passenger train connecting the icebound estates of the southern lowlands, which extend from the banks of the Tisza almost as fas  the foot of the Carpathians, had, despite the garbled explanations of a haplessly stumbling guard and the promises of the  stationmaster rushing nervously on and off the platform,failed to arrive(“Well, squire,it seems to have disappeared into thin air again…”the guard shrugged, pulling a sour face), the only two serviceable old wooden-seated coaches maintained for just such an “emergency” were coupled to an obsolete and unreliable 424, used only as a last resort,and put to work, albeit a good hour and a half late, according to a timetable to which they were not bound and which was only an approximitisation anyway, so that the locals who were waiting in vain for the eastbound service, and had accepted its delay with what appeared to be a combination of indiference and helpless resignation, might eventually arrive at their destination some fifty kilometres further along the branch line.{end of sentence}” (KRASZNAHORKAI, “THE  MELANCHOLY OF RESISTANCE”, 1989)

On a sunny day

I travelled from Liskeard

To Looe.

The one-car train

(not a 424)

travelled down

a spiralled

Steep slope;

and arrived at

Coombe Junction.

Two trains a day

Stop there;

about fifty passengers

per YEAR…

Overhanging trees

overgrown platform,

A cursory hut….

I got off

Briefly

And took these pictures of

A

Station forlorn

A beautiful decay

Woodland

Hiddenness.

This station only gradually

reveals its secrets….

And then

The train reversed back

As the track

Jackknived on itself

up the line

To Looe,

Away from the stub

Of the disused line beyond,

Back into the sunshine…

A place where Time

(Almost) stopped

Another

Secluded, darker

Rose garden.

Coombe Junction

With acknowledgements to subconscious allusions to Edward Thomas “Addlestrop”.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

A BFIEF REVIEW OF KRASZNAHORKAI:THE MELANCHOLY OF RESISTANCE

This book never lives upto the promise of  the{quoted in full above} opening sentence, which is so evocative and drolly humorous. The whole novel is written in similarly,(stylistically), serpentine, labarynthine, multi-claused prose. It is fairly surreal throughout. But the cataclysmic events told therein-some kind of civil “revolution”, a mysterious circus and whale and “Prince”, with the obvious resonances around the “unrest” prior to the “Velvet Revolution”, as it manifested itself in Hungary(the novel was published in 1989)-are obfuscated and layered over, probably deliberately(but I  think mainly unsuccessfully)by the circuitous prose style. Unlike Sebald, Kraszhnahorkai’s verbal virtuosity doesnt REVEAL the underlying(deeper) meanings but obscures them(even to someone , like myself, who revels in a prolix writing style; and there is some self-awareness here!).

One more redeeming feature is the portrayal of Mr. Eszter, the stoic of the title, whose response to the overwhelmimg and chaotic external world is to escape into a solipsistic inner one; he even develops a possibly neurasthenic type of illness.He falls in love with Valuska, which is touching; Valuska is an innocent who sees cosmic visions but is corrupted by the “reality” of the nameless putative revolutionaries.

I would not voluntarily read any MORE Krasznahorkai(though I  WANT to like him)but an experience!

Advertisements

Published by: decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)

Categories Uncategorized2 Comments

2 thoughts on “KRASZNAHORKAI AND COOMBE JUNCTION:THE BRANCH LINE: A COLLAGE”

  1. Boy, am I getting an education. Had to look up K., the Hungarian writer and the place names. And the long, thin journey of a poem is, in part, your response to K.’s novel? I like the description.

  2. Merry, thanks. i wasnt actually consciously aware of the short “thin” lines of the poem, being a mirror or, conversely, an antidote to Krasznahorkai’s serpentine prose, because I usually write poems in short lines anyway; but am glad u perceived it as such, because reader perception is every bit as important as writer intention, to me; and I can WELL see what you mean!A narrow snaking branch line of a poem. Thanks for your comments and on the daffodil poem; YOUR imagery is effective and quirky too. i have subscribed to ur PR blog! Steve

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s