But there is also a shared belief that things aren’t as they appear. Some mistake must have been made; things can’t be as bad as they seem. And so the residents “are waiting. They’re waiting patiently, like the long-suffering lot they are, in the firm conviction that someone has conned them. They are waiting, belly to the ground, like cats at pig-killing time, hoping for scraps.” (This repetition, with its gradual slathering of metaphoric detail, characterizes Krasznahorkai’s style.)
The book’s title refers to a dance performed when the hour is late enough and the people, gathered at the local watering hole, find themselves sufficiently sozzled. It could also describe the book’s structure: ever moving forward and back, orchestrated by a knowing, even otherworldly figure behind the scenes.