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Journey By Moonlight

Antal Szerb


Cover Publisher ISBN Number Price Buy
pbk Pushkin Press 1901285375 £12.00 n/a
pbk Pushkin Press 1901285502 £7.99


One or two very gushing press notices of this made me want to see what it was all about… It is the first English translation of a novel that Hungarians, apparently, regard as a classic.  And it is very compelling, although I must confess I found the start a bit lame.  It begins with Mihaly and Erzsi on honeymoon in Venice (1937, or thereabouts), and Mihaly embarks on a long description of his youthful obsession with Tamas and Eva, a mysterious brother and sister reminiscent of Cocteau’s ‘Enfants Terribles’.  Mihaly then leaves Erzsi in the lurch and wanders round Italy in search of some kind of resolution to his private crisis, while Erzsi goes to Paris and tries to persuade herself that she can be unconventional.  Mihaly’s silliness is remarkable, but he is intelligent, after all, and imaginative, so that you cannot help feeling an increasing, grudging respect for the thoroughness of his quest.  Despite everything, Szerb manages to make Mihaly likeable, and through him to deliver an amusing critique of contemporary bourgeois society.  I am very glad I persisted! - review by John de Falbe



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