Internationally celebrated Hungarian novelist L szl Krasznahorkai has been heralded by Susan Sontag as "the Hungarian master of the apocalypse" and compared favorably to Gogol by W. G. Sebald. A new work by Krasznahorkai is always an event, and The Manhattan Project is no less. As part of Krasznahorkai's fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, he has been working on a novella inspired by a reading of Moby-Dick. Yet, as he follows in Herman Melville's footsteps, a second book alongside the original novella took shape. The Manhattan Project is that book.
Offering a unique account of a great literary mind at work, Krasznahorkai reveals here the incidences and coincidences that shape his process of writing and creating. The Manhattan Project explores the act of creation through the lens of Krasznahorkai's encounter with Melville, and it places this vision alongside the work of others who have crossed Melville's path, both literally and fictionally.
Presented alongside Krasznahorkai's text are photographs by Ornan Rotem, which trace the encounters of writers and artists with Melville as they crisscross Manhattan, driven by a hunger to unlock the city's inscrutable ways. As Krasznahorkai goes in search of Melville, we journey along with him on the quest for the secret of creativity. The Manhattan Project provides a rare understanding of great literature in the making.