Seiobo There Below

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Seiobo There Below
First edition cover
Author László Krasznahorkai
Original title Seiobo járt odalent
Translator Ottilie Mulzet
Country Hungary
Language Hungarian
Publisher Magvető
Publication date
Published in English
Pages 426
ISBN 9789631426601

Seiobo There Below (Hungarian: Seiobo járt odalent) is a 2008 novel by the Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai. It has an episodic narrative which focuses on artists of different times and places, some of which are historical people and some of which are fictional. The link between them is the Japanese goddess Seiobo who appears at various points in the novel. The 17 chapters are numbered according to the Fibonacci sequence, beginning with 1 and ending with 2584.

The English translation by Ottilie Mulzet received the Best Translated Book Award in 2014.[1]


Jason Farago wrote for NPR in 2013: "The breadth of material these stories cover is breathtaking, but Krasznahorkai wears his erudition lightly. Seiobo There Below proceeds slowly and deliberately, building up from page to page until each chapter obtains an almost unbearable intensity. ... Krasznahorkai is one of contemporary literature's most daring and difficult figures, but although this book is ambitious, it isn't ever obscure. On the contrary: it places upon us readers the same demands of all great art, and allows us to grasp a vision of painstaking beauty if we can slow ourselves down to savor it."[2] The same year, Scott Esposito reviewed the book in The Washington Post: "With Seiobo, we see the moody darkness of Krasznahorkai’s early novels becoming revitalized by the balm of great art. ... The book is an eloquent apologia for the great artistic and spiritual artifacts at a time when the world is so enamored of science and technology." Esposito continued: "[Krasznahorkai] also shows his mastery of narrative technique with stories that range from mad monologues to quiet ruminations, nimble use of the detached third person and even an essayistic chapter on the Alhambra palace in Spain — each piece wholly self-enclosed and satisfying on its own terms."[3]


  1. ^ Chad W. Post (2014-04-28). "BTBA 2014: Poetry and Fiction Winners". Three Percent. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  2. ^ Farago, Jason (2013-09-25). "A Goddess Descends To Art In 'Seiobo There Below'". NPR. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  3. ^ Esposito, Scott (2013-12-03). "'Seiobo There Below,' by László Krasznahorkai". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 

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