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The Last Wolf

af Laszlo Krasznahorkai

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1611,054,762 (3.5)Ingen
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Wild Thing
Review of the Loomingu Raamatukogu estonian language edition (2018) translated from the Hungarian language original "Az utolsó farkas" (2009)
This story by the Hungarian master of the apocalypse, who won the International Man Booker Prize, is about a former German professor who spends his days in a Berlin tavern. He unexpectedly receives an invitation to Extremadura, an isolated and sparsely occupied part of Spain, to write about their potentially prosperous future. However, a strangely worded sentence in an ecological article that he reads in preparation for the trip triggers an unforeseen sequence of events, which leads him to dig further into a search for the last wolf in the countryside. - a translation of the Estonian language synopsis.
I'm working my way up to the longer novels of Krasznohorkai and Viimne hunt is an excellent way to get started. It combines the use of the one-sentence, one paragraph format with a tale of an obsessive quest as told by the protagonist narrator to a not very attentive barman. The format of the Estonian LR series was also ideal for this as the very thorough afterword provides an excellent overview of Krasznohorkai's life and writing career.

The book has the standard disclaimer that its events and characters are not based on real life, but it is also interesting that Spain's Fundacion Ortega Munozi (named after Spanish painter Ortega Muñoz who was from Extremadura) is thanked for its support in helping in its writing. i.e. it seems very much in parallel with the protagonist in the book getting an unexpected commission from Spain.

In any case, I didn't think of this book as being strongly apocalyptic. It seemed more to me that the philosophy professor saw in the wolves a symbol of his own separation from society where his books are not respected and even his retelling of his tales to the Berlin barman are met with indifference.

Trivia and Links
The Loomingu Raamatukogu (The Creation Library) is a modestly priced Estonian literary journal which initially published weekly (from 1957 to 1994) and which now publishes 40 issues a year as of 1995. It is a great source for discovery as its relatively cheap prices (currently 3 to 5€ per issue) allow for access to a multitude of international writers in Estonian translation and of shorter works by Estonian authors themselves. These include poetry, theatre, essays, short stories, novellas and novels (the lengthier works are usually parcelled out over several issues).

For a complete listing of all works issued to date by Loomingu Raamatukogu see Estonian Wikipedia at: https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loomingu_Raamatukogus_ilmunud_teoste_loend_aastak%... ( )
  alanteder | Jul 4, 2020 |
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