First English publication of a recently rediscovered novella by one of the greatest European writers
The ageing civil servant Eduard Saxberger has banished all hope of literary renown. His one collection of youthful verse never led to the glittering career he hoped for, and he has resigned himself to the fact that he'll live out his life as, after all, just an ordinary man. Until, that is, a young admirer seeks him out and declares his deepest admiration for his early poems. He invites Saxberger to join him and his circle of fellow writers, who regularly meet at one of Vienna's grand coffee houses: Saxberger is their model, their literary hero. Embarrassed at first, the old man eventually gives in, flattered and fascinated by the self-styled 'Enthusiasts' (not to be confused, of course, with the 'Talentless', who sit at the other tables in the café). Will Saxberger find the inspiration he needs to write a new masterpiece? Will he be able to help the Enthusiasts to attain the public recognition for which they hunger? Will he, indeed, find late love as well as late fame? - Ah, but everything is not as it seems...
Translated by Alexander Starritt
Cover illustration by
Published 08 October 2015