The Third Tower

The Third Tower

Antal Szerb

Antal Szerb

In August 1936 a Hungarian writer in his mid-thirties arrives by train in Venice, on a journey overshadowed by the coming war and charged with intense personal nostalgia. Aware that he might never again visit this land whose sites and scenes had once exercised a strange and terrifying power over his imagination, he immerses himself in a stream of discoveries, reappraisals and inevitable self-revelations. From Venice, he traces the route taken by the Germanic invaders of old down to Ravenna, to stand, fulfilling a lifelong dream, before the sacred mosaics of San Vitale.This journey into his private past brings Antal Szerb firmly, and at times painfully, up against an explosive present, producing some memorable observations on the social wonders and existential horrors of Mussolini's new Roman Imperium.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The Pendragon Legend

The Pendragon Legend

Antal Szerb

Antal Szerb

At an end-of-the London season soiree, the young Hungarian scholar-dilettante Janos Batky is introduced to the Earl of Gwynedd, a reclusive eccentric who is the subject of strange rumours. Invited to the family seat, Pendragon Castle in North Wales, Batky receives a mysterious phone-call warning him not to go... Antal Szerb's first novel The Pendragon Legend (1934), set in Wales is a gently satirical blend of gothic and romantic genres, crossed with the murder mystery format to produce a fast-moving and often hilarious romp. But beneath the surface, the reader becomes aware of a steely intelligence probing moral, psychological and religious questions.
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Oliver VII

Oliver VII

Antal Szerb

Antal Szerb

The restless King Oliver VII of Alturia, an obscure Central European state whose only notable exports are wine and sardines, wants nothing more than an easy life: so, plotting a coup against himself, King Oliver VII escapes to Venice in search of 'real' experience. There he falls in with a team of con-men and ends up, to his own surprise, impersonating himself. His journey through successive levels of illusion and reality teaches him much about the world, about his own nature and the paradoxes of the human condition. Szerb offered Oliver VII as a translation from a non-existent English writer, A H Redcliff -- typical Szerb humor, or a reflection of the fact that as a 'rootless cosmopolitan' his own work was banned by the Nazi regime?
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Journey by Moonlight

Journey by Moonlight

Antal Szerb

Antal Szerb

"No one who has read it has failed to love it."—Nicholas Lezard, Guardian "Szerb belongs with the master novelists of the twentieth century."—Paul Bailey, Daily Telegraph ANXIOUS TO PLEASE his bourgeois father, Mihaly 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 Mihaly "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.
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Love in a Bottle

Love in a Bottle

Antal Szerb

Antal Szerb

"May Szerb's re-entry into our literary pantheon be definitive."—Alberto Manguel, Financial Times This selection of stories and novellas, set variously in mythical times and in the London and Paris of the twenties and thirties, reflects Antal Szerb's love of life and his irrepressible irony.
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The Queen's Necklace

The Queen's Necklace

Antal Szerb

Antal Szerb

“A sparkling slice of eighteenth-century life” Paul Bailey, Independent In August 1785 Paris buzzed with scandal. It involved an eminent churchman, a notorious charlatan, a female fraudster, a part-time prostitute and the hated Queen herself. At its heart was the most expensive diamond necklace ever assembled—and the web of fraud, folly and self-delusion it had inspired. In Szerb’s last major work, a witty and often surprising account of events, the story is used as a standpoint from which to survey the entire age. Written in war-torn Hungary in the early 1940s, it constitutes a remarkable gesture of defiance against the brutal world in which the writer lived and died.
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