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Hungarian Nobel Prize–winner (2002) Kertész delivers a taut, grim allegory of man in the face of oppression. A government commissioner is deposited along with his wife in an unnamed European city in order to make a site inspection of a factory. Ridding himself of a colleague named Hermann (who seems complicit in a crime associated with the site) and his wife, the commissioner discovers the site turns out to be an overgrown but otherwise empty field, giving him a bewildering sense of disorientation and defeat. The next day, in the town of Z, the commissioner finds the insatiable Moloch, spewing like a pestilential organism and so grotesque that it may negate the commissioner's existence. Kertész is a master at delineating the tricky nuances of human conduct. He indulges at moments in overwrought prose and heavy-handed symbolism, but the underlying hope clarifies and uplifts. (May)
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Praise for Imre Kertész's The Pathseeker
“Kertész's work is a profound meditation on the great and enduring themes of love, death and the problem of evil, although for Kertész, it's not evil that is the problem but good.”
—John Banville, author of The Sea
“From Imre Kertész, the winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature, we have come to expect novels where [his] detectives track themselves, seeking to apprehend their own role in ‘the logic’ of authoritarianism. . . . From a recipe with these ingredients, it is hard to imagine anything but the highest seriousness. The Pathseeker doesn’t disappoint. . . . Kafka comes to mind.”
—John Leonard, Harper’s Magazine
“Original and chilling.”
—The New York Review of Books
“The Pathseeker is a necessary addition to Mr. Kertész’s work in English, and should occasion thanks to both the novelist and his translator, Tim Wilkinson, who has rendered Mr. Kertész’s (famously difficult) Hungarian into a flowing, able English—as well as to Melville House’s fascinating ‘The Contemporary Art of the Novella’ series, which rubric The Pathseeker falls under. . . . And with the introduction of The Pathseeker into English, after 30 years of silence, we should pay grateful and careful attention.”
—New York Sun
"[A] profound and puzzling novella... Kertész reminds us that some things can never be named."
—Los Angeles Times
"A wonderful opportunity to deepen our understanding of Kertész."