The World Goes On

The World Goes On (Hungarian: Megy a világ) is a collection of twenty-one short stories by László Krasznahorkai. Originally published in Hungarian by Magvető in 2013, it was later translated to English by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet, and George Szirtes and published in 2017 by New Directions Publishing.

The World Goes On
Megy a világ (Krasznahorkai László).png
First edition cover (Hungary)
AuthorLászló Krasznahorkai
Original titleMegy a világ
TranslatorsJohn Batki
Ottilie Mulzet
George Szirtes
GenreShort story collection
Publication date
March 2013
Published in English
2 November 2017
Media typePrint (hardcover)
LC ClassPH3281.K8866 M44 2013

The English translation was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.[1][2][3]


  • He
    • I. Speaks
      • "Wandering-Standing" (tr. Ottilie Mulzet)
      • "On Velocity" (tr. George Szirtes)
      • "He Wants to Forget" (tr. John Batki)
      • "How Lovely" (tr. Batki)
      • "At the Latest, in Turin" (tr. Batki)
      • "The World Goes On" (tr. Batki)
      • "Universal Theseus" (tr. Batki)
      • "One Hundred People All Told" (tr. Batki)
      • "Not on the Heraclitean Path" (tr. Batki)
    • II. Narrates
      • "Nine Dragon Crossing" (tr. Batki)
      • "One Time on 381" (tr. Batki)
      • "György Fehér's Henrik Molnár" (tr. Batki)
      • "Bankers" (tr. Mulzet)
      • "A Drop of Water" (tr. Batki)
      • "Downhill on a Forest Road" (tr. Szirtes)
      • "The Bill" (tr. Szirtes)
      • "That Gagarin" (tr. Mulzet)
      • "Obstacle Theory" (tr. Batki)
      • "Journey in a Place Without Blessings" (tr. Mulzet)
      • "The Swan of Istanbul" (tr. Batki)
    • III. Bids Farewell
      • "I Don't Need Anything from Here" (tr. Mulzet)


The novel was published in Hungarian by Magvető in March 2013.[4][5] It was translated into English by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet, and George Szirtes and published in 2017 by Tuskar Rock Press in the United Kingdom and New Directions Publishing in the United States.[6][7] The translation was first published by Tuskar Rock on 2 November 2017.[6]

Many of the stories had been previously published:

  • 1990: "At the Latest, in Turin" ("Legkésőbb Torinóban")
  • 2001: "Not on the Heraclitean Path" ("Nem a hérakleitoszi úton")
  • 2002: "The World Goes On" ("Megy a világ előre")
  • 2003: "One Hundred People All Told" ("Talán száz ember összesen")
  • 2005: "Wandering-Standing" ("Bolyongás állva")
  • 2008: "Downhill on a Forest Road" ("Lefelé egy erdei úton")
  • 2009: "On Velocity" ("A sebességről")
  • 2010: "The Bill: For Palma Vecchio, at Venice" ("Számla: Palma Vecchiónak, Velencébe")
  • 2010: "Nine Dragon Crossing" ("Nine Dragons Crosing")


At the review aggregator website Book Marks, which assigns individual ratings to book reviews from mainstream literary critics, the novel received a cumulative "Positive" rating based on 11 reviews: 4 "Rave" reviews and 7 "Positive" reviews.[8]

In its starred review, Publishers Weekly wrote, "This book breaks all conventions and tests the very limits of language, resulting in a transcendent, astounding experience."[9]

Kirkus Reviews praised Krasznahorkai's "dense, philosophically charged prose", comparing it to the works of James Joyce and Friedrich Nietzsche.[10]

Claire Kohda Hazelton of The Observer called it "a masterpiece of invention, utterly different from everything else".[11]


  1. ^ "The Man Booker International Prize 2018 shortlist". 12 April 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  2. ^ Kaplan, Ilana (12 April 2018). "Man Booker Prize International 2018 shortlist announced". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  3. ^ Codrea-Rado, Anna (12 April 2018). "Six Books Shortlisted for Man Booker International Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Megy a világ". Magvető Kiadó. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  5. ^ "A Magvető Kiadó újdonságai és programjai a XX. Budapesti Nemzetközi Könyvfesztiválon". 27 February 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b "The World Goes On". Serpent's Tail. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  7. ^ "The World Goes On". New Directions Publishing. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Book Marks reviews of The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai, Trans. by George Szirtes, Ottilie Mulzet & John Batki". Book Marks. Literary Hub. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Fiction Book Review: The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai, trans. from the Hungarian by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet, and George Szirtes". Publishers Weekly. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  10. ^ "The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai ; translated by John Batki with Ottilie Mulzet and Georges Szirtes". Kirkus Reviews. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  11. ^ Hazelton, Claire Kohda (12 November 2017). "The World Goes On review – a masterpiece of fear and futility". The Observer. Retrieved 26 August 2020.