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Antal Szerb manages with his novel Yolcu ve Ayisigi to set a deep regressive element, the unfulfilled dreams of youth, which shape the life of every adult in some way This psychological novel captivates with its diversity In beautiful sentences Antal Szerb illustrates the Tuscan Villages and the Umbrain villages He writes wonderfully calm, poetic and full of symbolism and each sentence is a pleasure to read The book describes the process of self discovery, because each of the described characters is searching for the meaning of his life With a clear, understandable and perfectly fitting language the author manages to get the readers full concentration. First of all, let me tell you as a Hungarian who read the novel both in Hungarian and in English that the translation is simply brilliant Len Rix, did full credit to the original text and Antal Szerb s genius So, praising the translation to the skies was the easy part The hard part is, why I love this book so much.There are people who like entertaining the idea that they are simply not of this world The main character, Mih ly certainly likes to think of himself as such a person In his youth, he belonged to a very select gang of intellectuals pushing things to the limit of morality and beyond playing weird games sometimes endangering their own lives He thinks of himself as the Great Outsider who still has the insight into life s mysteries that is denied to ordinary mortals During the expos of his past and his present and his almost picaresque journey, the author first leads the readers to believe it is so, just to rap both us and the MC on the nose sharply and prove that it s nothing of the sort Mih ly is just like a rest of us thinking of his own inner dramas as something momentous, disparaging other people and in the meantime totally misjudging them like he does his own wife He is mercilessly mocked and yet deeply understood accepted by the author And that is what makes Antal Szerb such wonderful writer you truly believe he has The Insight into the human mind heart soul I think the novel is essentially a comedy, yet it balances on the precarious precipice of the tragic, where you think it will eventually fall, but Antal Szerb handles the narrative wonderfully and never loses the balance or the focus. The basic theme is an adult man he s 36 in love with nostalgia for his youth He was of a lower class background but hung out with a group of four or five friends in a wealthy neighborhood of Budapest, Castle Hill The time is between World Wars They spend all their time play acting years to the point where that became the whole purpose of their lives Those friends, drinking and smoking with no adult supervision, became so dedicated to each other they became their own family Even as adults they are still seeking each other out and carrying the burden of those they lost, such as one who committed suicide The play acting leads him to believe that dying is an erotic act and that death is the great ecstasy I m reminded of another Hungarian author s novel, Sandor Marai s The Rebels, which would have been written about the same time in Budapest and where I thought the play acting and dressing out of the four boys in that story was simply over the top, but perhaps that was a fad at the time in Budapest Marai s was published in 1930 Szerb s in 1937 He s on his honeymoon but he basically has what we might call a nervous breakdown He leaves his wife and wanders the countryside He meets several of these old friends, some of whom are searching for him.One man from the old group has become a celebrated monk in the monastery at Gubbio Another seeks the main character out He s kind of a hustler and gets involved with the main character s abandoned wife and he is in contact with his family trying to find him back in Budapest and maybe get some money out of the deal The woman of the group and the main character may not realize it, but perhaps he has always been in love with her lives in Italy but hides from him and refuses to see him He gets involved with a young America woman He had won her complete confidence By evening he had gleaned everything there was to know about her, not that there was anything worth knowing I know what s wrong with me, he told the doctor Acute nostalgia I want to be young again Is there a cure for that The people, the vegetative sea of the Italian masses, bore the changing times on their back with astonishing passivity, and lived quite unconnected with their own remarkable history He suspected that even Republican and Imperial Rome, with its huge gestures, its heroics and bestial stupidities, had been nothing than a virile drama on the surface, the whole Roman Empire the mere private affair of a few brilliant actors, while down below the Italians placidly ate their pasta, sang songs of love, and begat their countless offspring I enjoyed the travelogue part too where he describes each town he visited On the map I ve included these towns which were mainly in Umbria north of Rome, south of Tuscany Ravenna, Arezzo, Siena, Cortona, Perugia, Gubbio, Assissi, Spello, Foligno, Spoleto and Norcia This Hungarian author wrote about a dozen novels He was born to secular Jewish parents and raised as a Catholic but that did not save him from death in the concentration camps A terrible loss to literature This was a good read, I ll call it a 4.5 rounded up to 5 Note that this book has a very high rating on GR 4.3 Castle Hill, Budapest from i.pinimg.com originalsMap of Umbria from i.pinimg.com originalsHugarian stamp honoring the author from colnect.com en stamps One would like to think that after a recent marriage, the happy couple would set their sights on radiant and flourishing years spent in each others harmonious company, swanning off on a honeymoon filled with memories of passion and delights Forget the past, look to the future.Antal Szerb is having none of it As this novel is predominantly about nostalgia A heavy nostalgia that is dragged around like weights tied to one s feet There is no escape from it, there is no cure.Hungarian newlyweds Mih ly and Erzsi are taking in the pleasures of Tuscany by train, after a stay in Venice before heading on to Rome But end up getting separated, leaving Erzsi to travel on alone Early on, there is already a turbulent signal that their relationship is doomed Mih ly, lives a conventional bourgeois life, part of his father s firm and set up reasonably well financially, you would think he is a man with no problems But he cannot let go of the past, and in particular his love for va, the sister of his old friend Tam s, who apparently took his own life To escape his nostalgia, he seduces Erzsi from a friend, she gets divorced, and marries him Whilst honeymooning the spotlight falls on Mih ly, although well travelled he has always avoided Italy, we soon find out why A flashback story commences after bumping into an old acquaintance, he opens up to Erzsi on his youth in Pest, and the reasons for his re emerging nostalgia Although this flashback sequence is pivotal to the whole novel, the great thing also, is that it goes on for some time and reads like a Superbly told short story itself As the novel progresses, other themes crop up, religion, fascism this being Mussolini s Italy and even magic realism, that are intricately woven into the tapestry of Szerb s story Erzsi herself seems to be negotiating a path that mirrors and sometimes inverts Mih ly s After leaving Rome for Paris later on, she succumbs to the power of her previous husband who is planning a financial deal to get her back The reader then starts to take on a parallel narrative, looking at their their journeys and experiences that play out like a musical counterpoint in a two voice fugue The psychological study of Mih ly under great turmoil is observed perfectly, as he wanders aimlessly around Italy without Erzsi, but she is already almost forgotten Money is a problem and he is crippled by an immense fatigue It s at this point the faces of the past start to reemerge, not just in his mind, but actually Could va still hold the key to his future Antal Szerb is another in a list of lost Hungarian maestros of literature, and he struck all the right notes for me With Journey by Moonlight, hardly a single metaphor or vivid image fails to recur elsewhere, although varied, not a single thread is left on the reel in the way Szerb meticulously handles his work And another aspect you take on board away from the characters is how the landscape shapes the novel, taking in places like Venice, Florence, Siena, Rome and Paris Places you would think would work wonders for most couples, not here In fact Szerb based some of the journeying on his own trip to Italy in 1936, which was recorded in a philosophical travelogue The Third Tower I always travel to Italy as if it were my last time there, and when I first see one of it s towns, it is as if I were revisiting it and, at the same time, also bidding it farewell Summergenge of one s individuality, whether in the depths of nostalgia or in an ocean of a collectivist totalitarian state, this land was a growing concern for Jewish born Szerb, as the dark clouds of Fascism and Nazism started there own journey towards war And these concerns show up in the novel only in the most delicate allusions, like when reading a newspaper, or talking briefly with the locals You feel Mih ly s own storm brewing from within Like war, unsure of it s outcome.Lately, I have been pondering on whether I score books too high, after a comment from a nosy GR er I can t help reading so many great books.Isn t that the whole point where ideally the decent reads outnumber the poor I just pick them well, and it isn t luck either.I loved this, I loved everything about it So why wouldn t I give it top marks.Can t remember who recommended this, but thank you I owe you one. Yolcu ve Ay , tarif edilmesi ok zor bir kitap ncelikle i erik bak m ndan, bir ok farkl temay i inde bar nd ran ve bundan 80 y l nce yay mlanmas na ra men ilk bas m 1937 tart t her kavram g n m zde aynen devam eden a n n st bir b y k eser Karars z, ne mutlu ne mutsuz, hi bir t r n i ine s mayacak kadar zel bir kitap Kitab n kendi i indeki her element, birbiriyle o kadar sa lam bir ekilde birbirine ge irilmi bir durumda yaz lm ki, hayranl k duymaktan ve sayg duymaktan teye gidemiyorsunuz.Kitab n genel yorumuna ge meden ncedenAntal Szerb ve Macar Edebiyat konusunda genel bir bilgi vermenin yorumun alg lanmas nda ok nemli oldu unu d n yorum nk okuma s ras nda ve sonras nda kendi ara t rmalar m do rultusunda buldu um olgular n, bu kitab nbence neden ok zel bir kitap oldu unun bir nevi sav ayn zamanda da yeni okuyacaklar i in nemli bir yol haritas meydana getirecek ve bunun yan nda kurgusal yap n n da bu genel er eve dahilinde daha da anla l r k lacakt r En ba ta belirtti im gibi Yolcu ve Ay n tarifsiz k lan en b y k temellerden biri, Antal Szerb in kendisi tahmin edebilece imiz gibi Szerb, ne yaz k ki 43 ya nda elinde t m imkanlar olmas na ra men son nefesini son derece trajik bir kurban olarak nazi toplama kamp nda veriyor Bu Yahudi Soyk r m etkilerinin bizim i in Yolcu ve Ay nda yer alan ana karakterimiz olan Mihaly mihay diye okunuyor ve evresindeki olan geli imi anlamam z i in en nemli anahtar olgulardan biri view spoiler Di er bir deyi le, Mihaly n yazar n kendi bak a s yla ve alm oldu u kararla ilgili benzerlik izmektedir hide spoiler The odds that I will finish this book are, according to most statisticians, negligible, so I should just dispense with the charade and chuck this bitch on the discard pile It s currently on the far side of my bedside table, where it continues to collect a thin layer of what I would call picturesque dust I look at it before I go to sleep every night, but only out of the corner of my eyes, because it silently accuses me of failure, and as the days go by its silence grows louder and louder and prosecutorial I really should stop thinking of book finishing as a moral issue This isn t an abandoned lover or friend or a shirked duty I owe absolutely nothing to Antal Szerb or to his book Journey by Moonlight, which so far as I can remember appears to be about ennui, of the distinctly midcentury European variety Those of you who ve endured Antonioni s Italian travelogue L Avventura know exactly what I m talking about here Those of you who haven t well, picture some inscrutable Hungarian dude going on a honeymoon in Italy and then accidentally intentionally taking the wrong train and abandoning his wife I say abandoning because when he realizes his mistake he doesn t attempt to meet up with her again He s a pretty flat and boring guy, and we have no real sense of why he s doing what he s doing Just blame it on good old fashioned bourgeois indolence, I suppose But why do novels and movies about indolence have to be so indolent themselves Anyway, I feel extra guilty for giving this book heave ho because Antal Szerb is a Jew who died in a concentration camp I realize this fate has nothing whatsoever to do with his abilities as a writer of fiction, but books by Jews who die in concentration camps should be good books, or better than this book This is exactly the kind of decadent art that had Hitler cowering behind his landscape paintings and his collection of Greek nudes Is it just me or are the modernists looking worn to the nubbin as time goes on All these people in chinos and espadrilles wandering purposelessly across pastoral landscapes, bothered by some vague, indefinable something which is all very fine and good if the book gives me an entryway into the individual s crisis for lack of a better word and not a droning nothingness But don t take my word for it I m a quitter Maybe this book kicks into gear somewhere beyond the one third marker, which is where my drug store receipt bookmark is and will remain I consider myself duped by this looker of a book cover Look at that photograph of the horse on the bridge in Venice It suggests a certain greatness to simple minds In other words, marketing is the last great art. .FREE DOWNLOAD ♞ Utas és holdvilág ♃ A Major Classic Of S Literature, Antal Szerb S Journey By Moonlight Utas S Holdvil Gis The Fantastically Moving And Darkly Funny Story Of A Bourgeois Businessman Torn Between Duty And Desire On The Train, Everything Seemed Fine The Trouble Began In Venice Mih Ly Has Dreamt Of Italy All His Life When He Finally Travels There On His Honeymoon With Wife Erszi, He Soon Abandon Her In Order To Find Himself, Haunted By Old Friends From His Turbulent Teenage Days Beautiful, Kind Tamas, Brash And Wicked Janos, And The Sexless Yet Unforgettable Eva Journeying From Venice To Ravenna, Florence And Rome, Mih Ly Loses Himself In Venetian Back Alleys And In The Tuscan And Umbrian Countryside, Driven By An Irresistible Desire To Resurrect His Lost Youth Among Hungary S Bright Young Things, And Knowing That He Must Soon Decide Whether To Return To The Ambiguous Promise Of A Placid Adult Life, Or Allow Himself To Be Seduced Into A Life Of Scandalous Adventure Journey By Moonlight Utas S Holdvil Gis An Undoubted Masterpiece Of Modernist Literature, A Darkly Comic Novel Cut Through By Sex And Death, Which Traces The Effects Of A Socially And Sexually Claustrophobic World On The Life Of One ManTranslated From The Hungarian By The Renowned And Award Winning Len Rix, Antal Szerb S Journey By Moonlight First Published As Utas S Holdvil G In Hungary In Is The Consummate European Novel Of The Inter War Period This is the sort of book I loveone that you come across somewhere in this case, a castle library in Italy and feel sure that it was hiding there all this time, waiting for you to find it The author is Hungarian, and the novel was originally published in 1937 its English translation appeared in 2000 Journey by Moonlight is unlike any novel I ve read the atmosphere is both dreamy descriptive, rich in history and detail The characters are interesting, and the dialogue is excellent It s insightful, among other things, about love and relationships, life and death Mihaly is passive and moody and abandons his wife on their honeymoon on the train in Umbria Over time he reconnects with members of his close circle of friends from his schooldays in Budapest, now scattered and having taken up very different lives in Umbria and Rome The novel also follows Mihaly s wife and her point of view in sections she takes up a new life in Paris, rather than returning to Budapest , and there is a very funny letter from her first husband to Mihaly early on in the novel I forgot to mention that the novel is quite funny dryly so in places A rich novel, one that is idiosyncratic and mysterious, unclassifiable the best sort. To step off The train The bus The world The marriage Surely you ve thought of it.This is Europe before World War II But that s not essential to the story Mussolini is mentioned but he has no moment It is not that kind of allegory.It is Mih ly who steps off, stepping off the train during his honeymoon in Italy He leaves his new bride Erzsi on the train It seems an accident when Mih ly steps off, but it is no accident There was a group of friends in Mih ly s impressionable years Of his friends and they all play a part in the story it is va he is chasing But, to keep the story going, he does not know that.Chasing va Chasing Amy Silent Bob So there s me and Amy, and we re all inseparable, right Just big time in love And then four months down the road, the idiot gear kicks in, and I ask about the ex boyfriend Which, as we all know, is a really dumb move But you know how it is you don t wanna know, but you just have to, right Stupid guy bullshit So, anyway, she starts telling me about him how they fell in love, and how they went out for a couple of years, and how they lived together, her mother likes me better, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and I m okay But then she drops the bomb on me, and the bomb is this it seems that a couple of times, while they were going out, he brought some people to bed with them M nage trois, I believe it s called Now this just blows my mind, right I mean, I am not used to this sort of thing I mean, I was raised Catholic, for God s sake.Jay Saint Shithead.Silent Bob So I m totally weirded out by this, right And then I just start blasting her Like I don t know how to deal with what I m feeling, so I figure the best way is by calling her a slut, right And tell her she was used I m I m out for blood I really wanna hurt this girl I m like, What the fuck is your problem , right And she s just all calmly trying to tell me, like, it was that time and it was that place and she doesn t think she should apologize because she doesn t feel that she s done anything wrong I m like, Oh, really That s when I look her straight in the eye, I tell her it s over I walk.Jay Fuckin A Silent Bob No, idiot It was a mistake I didn t hate her I wasn t disgusted with her I was afraid At that moment, I felt small, like like I d lacked experience, like I d never be on her level, like I d never be enough for her or something like that, you know what I m saying But, what I did not get, she didn t care She wasn t looking for that guy any She was she was looking for me, for the Bob But, uh, by the time I figure this all out, it was too late, man She moved on, and all I had to show for it was some foolish pride, which then gave way to regret She was the girl, I know that now But I pushed her away So, I ve spent every day since then chasing Amy so to speakI dropped in Silent Bob not to be glib, or in any way a dimunition of this book It just came up, maybe obviously I didn t see the difference.Apparently, in pre WWII Italy suicide was something of a sport People step off a lot in this book.I have not stepped off If I have regrets, it is not stepping on.I would be remiss in not mentioning that Szerb does a very nice job of channeling different nationalities None better than when he introduces us to Millicent, the American student Skewers us, he does. 1 2 Goodreads.