Journey by Moonlight
By Antal Szerb
An early-twentieth-century classic - the turbulent story of a businessman torn between middle-class respectability and sensational bohemia.
Anxious to please his bourgeois father, Mihály has joined the family firm in Budapest. Pursued by nostalgia for his bohemian youth, he seeks escape in marriage to Erzsi, not realising that she has chosen him as a means to her own rebellion. On their honeymoon in Italy Mihály 'loses' his bride at a provincial station and embarks on a chaotic and bizarre journey that leads him finally to Rome. There all the death-haunted and erotic elements of his past converge, and he, like Erzsi, has finally to choose his fate. In this deeply moving and darkly funny masterpiece, Szerb explores questions of spirituality and selfhood that probe the very nature of bourgeois civilization.
Translated by Len Rix
Cover illustration by Eoin Ryan
Published 06 June 2013