Seiobo There Below
Translated by Ottilie Mulzet
Winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize
Seiobo — a Japanese goddess — has a peach tree in her garden that blossoms once every three thousand years: its fruit brings immortality. In Seiobo There Below, we see her returning again and again to mortal realms, searching for a glimpse of perfection. Beauty, in Krasznahorkai’s new novel, reflects, however fleetingly, the sacred — even if we are mostly unable to bear it. Seiobo shows us an ancient Buddha being restored; Perugino managing his workshop; a Japanese Noh actor rehearsing; a fanatic of Baroque music lecturing a handful of old villagers; tourists intruding into the rituals of Japan’s most sacred shrine; a heron hunting.… Over these scenes and more — structured by the Fibonacci sequence — Seiobo hovers, watching it all.
Melancholic and mesmerisingly beautiful, this latest novel by the author of Satantango shows us how to glimpse the divine through extraordinary art and human endeavour.
Winner of Best Translated Book of the Year Award 2014