The Last Wolf & Herman
Translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes and John Batki.
In The Last Wolf, a philosophy professor is mistakenly hired to write the true tale of the last wolf of Extremadura, a barren stretch of Spain. His miserable experience is narrated in a single, rolling sentence to a patently bored bartender in a dreary Berlin bar.
In Herman, a master trapper is asked to clear a forest's last 'noxious beasts.' Herman begins with great zeal, although in time he switches sides, deciding to track entirely new game... In Herman II, the same events are related from the perspective of strange visitors to the region, a group of hyper-sexualised aristocrats who interrupt their orgies to pitch in with the manhunt of poor Herman...
These intense, perfect novellas, full of Krasznhorkai's signature sense of foreboding and dark irony, are perfect examples of his craft.