Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens

Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens by László Krasznahorkai

Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens: Reportage
by László KrasznahorkaiOttilie Mulzet (Translation)
Jacob Russell‘s reviewFeb 15, 2021  ·  edit

I have just come to the last page of Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s Destruction and sorrow beneath the Heavens. What does it mean, to say that This is a great book? It left me in tears, with the feeling that all books… poems… works of art, are the same… the same, by their very difference. This is a book to read as you set out to write a poem, or make a painting, at the end of the world… a poem no one will survive to read a painting, no one will survive to see.

This is not a report of traveling through Southeast China. This is not about searching for the lost classical culture of Imperial China. This is a fable. An extended fable. A journey through labyrinth of questions, that are all the same question–all leading to … bird songs, tea…emptyness, and back to the beginning.

“A way a one a last a loved along the riverrun.”

There is always a way out of Suzhou… and before us, in the thick fog, supposedly there is somewhere: Jinhuashan.

Account of the Death of my Father

Journal entries. July, 1988

An Account of the Death of my Father
Max Bodenheim partied in London with T.S. Eliot and PoundWho remembers him now? Harry stands over the sink flash back to father

Strengthen the passage on seducer Death in hospital again and not doing well I’m on hold off the respirator

it’s overcast drove to Spring Lake Thursday arrived about 1:30 AM

Father moved to Ann Arbor Saturday back and forth–150 miles there 150 miles back heart mapping ventricular tachycardia slurring

of speech


a small stubborn man with small wants fiercely felt.

Spring Lake to Philadelphia 864 miles 18 hours

Raymond Carver died of lung cancer He just wanted it that’s all that damn wheel turning there above the field of goldenrod and Queen Ann’s Lace and going just nowhere at all George Washington Ferris built and designed wheel for 1993 exhibition–Columbia Early wheels:1892 Atlantic City Isaac Newton Forrest 1892 William Somers Eli Bridge Co.

10 seater, 35 ft Sandusky Park, Cedar Point, Ohio–148 feet. 216 passengers

This story needs work

* * *

no patience move on to another piece impossible to free myself from this job

Another hot summer another drought each change foreshadows disaster

this could go on indefinitely thin frail thread to hang by

The humidity broke a weak cold front the practical pressures–apart from writing.

still waiting to hear test results medication not working We may drive up there tonight try the defibrillator defibrillator defibrillator defibrillator

slept all afternoon


Invent it

prying open a rusty door


car won’t start rap music radios kids in playground behind me

Triple A jump start


long wait usually come sooner kids hanging out up and down the block in front of this row of little two story project apartments Leaning against a fence, sitting on the door step–five kids are waiting for someone to come home and let them in. A girl in pink slacks and red sneaks has brought home a half gallon of ice cream, which she’s set down on the walk while she waits. The ice cream is melting, soaking the bag it’s in, running out over the walk.

buses pass last night it was cool a chill a hint of autumn

traffic comes at me in the rear view mirror girls are talking about riding the bus (there goes another one). A trip. “The Greyhound–” says the biggest girl, the one in the red sneaks and pint slacks–is lots better than a school bus. They have racks up top the seats where we put all our bags, and they have bathrooms, and no school bus has that!


Phone call from Dad’s neighbors kids throwing party in the house police

there was a fight cloths in a grocery bag no diner on the road


sleep in the car cold in the mountains lights coming at you do strange things

$38 at a Great Western This morning across the road a motel for $21

40 miles into Ohio night crosses into day $14 cash

U.S. 80

Youngstown sky like a water color still wet farms and factories cranes jutting up through the mist a bank of cloud ahead the Meander river day lit landscape spill out before me a gift

tiles in the men’s rooms on the Ohio Turnpike like cross sections of some organ

micro-photos of blood cells red with a tint of iodine
apple turnover
a quart of oil

$6.00 left

sixteen miles to Toledo

No money to park at hospital lot 10 miles to Ann Arbor

Speedometer 103,822

released from the hospital today on my way to pick him up

103, 846 buy gas

misty and overcast after a night of rain.


weak didn’t eat well in the hospital head for home after breakfast

3:40 Fill it up (4394/230 miles 57.5 MPH avg

104708 Exit 23 from 80 to 144 544 miles

9:30 PM 544 miles in 10 hours 53.5 MPH avg

11:15 104805 PA Turnpike 641 miles

1:00 104907 743 miles, 13 hrs/40 min/ 54 MPH

Harrisburg to 80 via 433 & 144

* * *


On the road again. Almost to Harrisburg

Exactly 100 miles. 2:40

* * *

house appraised by Rich Jones

Home Trip drive alone with trailer behind my father’s Buick.

The funeral was Tuesday.


Making art — working as an artist — is hard. Emotionally difficult and endlessly confusing. It shouldn’t be.

It’s not about making art, or being an artist; its abut making art and being an artist where the structures that connect us to one another, that give us a place in the social world, are tangled and broken. Endlessly subverted. It shouldn’t be like this–but it is.

I tell myself, that it’s not my fault. It’s not something I can correct in my self. Not a bad attitude I can fix. There is no ‘right place’ for what I do, for who I am.

Profoundly depressing.

11×14 Pen & India Ink, acrylic ink, watercolor. Click image to view full screen.

View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.