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Golden Hour Books

Seeing Further: A Novel by Esther Kinsky (10/22/24)

Seeing Further: A Novel by Esther Kinsky (10/22/24)

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In this Sebaldian autobiographical novel by a leading German author and translator, a narrator attempts to revive a run-down Hungarian movie theater-an unpromising endeavor that soon leads into a consideration of the building's history and an homage to the power of the cinema, imperiled as it may be in our time.

While travelling through the Great Alfold, the vast plain in southeastern Hungary, the narrator of Seeing Further stops in an all but vacant town near the Romanian border. There she happens upon a dilapidated cinema. Once the heart of the village, it has been boarded up for years. Entranced by the mozi, as cinema is known in Hungarian, she soon finds herself embarking on the colossal task of reviving it, compelled by what she calls "a dream in a glass coffin," the preservation of the cinematic experience, "beautiful and undecayed like Snow White, in some people's thoughts and memories, nourishing the fantasy of it reawaking." What follows is a history of place, told by the town's few remaining inhabitants and uncovered in physical traces of the past left behind in the grand old building. Seeing Further illuminates the cinema's former role as a communal space for collective imagining, a site rooted in ritual that has steadily disappeared. For Esther Kinsky, it nevertheless remains a place of wonder, a dark room that unfurls a vastness not beholden to the ordinary rules of time and space. Seeing Further is an homage to the cinema in words and pictures. 

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