Sunday, 25 September 2016

JOURNEY BY MOONLIGHT by Antal Szerb

Given all the real problems that Eastern Europe faced in the twentieth century I'm not sure why so many twentieth century Eastern European books are about imaginary problems.

In this book a couple goes to Italy on their honeymoon. The husband, Mihaly, gets left behind by the train at a junction, and somehow decides that this is the ideal moment to leave his wife. The reason? Extreme nostalgia (?). Apparently he is nostalgic for his high school friends, especially one girl he was in love with and her brother who he nearly killed himself with because of death being so beautiful (??).

In an unlikely coincidence he meets one of his other high school friends who is now a monk. His advice is to go to Rome, but for no reason (???). In Rome, he meets an academic who tells him what he should do - the practice that will set him free - it's obviously the study of religious history (????).

And that's where I had to quit. I just couldn't take it anymore. Though I do want to know where it ends. I suspect I was about ten pages off a talking cat.

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