Travelling to Italy on their honeymoon, Erszi and Mihaly are ready to take in all the beauties and pleasures of the country. But when they reach Venice, it is clear that Mihaly prefers to roam around the back alleys and the canals on his own, and as they continue their journey through the Bel Paese there is a growing sense of unrest between them, until Mihaly misses the train to Rome they were due to take together. Wandering alone from city to city, with his marriage rapidly falling apart, Mihaly must confront the ghosts of his past and try to find a sense of purpose.
Originally written in 1937, and here presented in a brilliant new translation by Peter V. Czipott, Antal Szerb's gently humorous and psychologically subtle exploration into the workings of a budding bourgeois marriage has been hailed as one of the great rediscovered classics of the twentieth century.
Antal Szerb (1901-45) was a Hungarian novelist, scholar, literary historian and translator whose works were greeted with widespread appreciation but who faced ever-increasing hostility and persecution because of his Jewish background. He tragically died in a concentration camp, beaten to death by camp guards, at the age of forty-three.