Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Reis bij maanlicht roman by Antal Szerb

Reis bij maanlicht roman (edition 2004)

by Antal Szerb

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
483None21,561 (3.96)28
Title:Reis bij maanlicht roman
Authors:Antal Szerb
Info:Amsterdam Van Gennep cop. 2004
Collections:Your library
Tags:buitenlandse literatuur, hongarije, italiaans

Work details

Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb

Recently added byS.D., private library, MichaelCO, patrice1, Crypto-Willobie, FremdeB, Andrew_MC, JayEales
  1. 00
    Van Sándor Márai tot Magda Szabó klassieke Hongaarse romans uit de 20e eeuw by Jolanta Jastrze̜bska (gust)
    gust: Deze bundel essays bevat een verhelderende bespreking van deze roman.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 28 mentions

English (11)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Em sua lua-de-mel na Itália, Mihaly se perde de sua esposa. Mais que isso, um encontro com um amigo de adolescência faz com que ele se perca nas lembranças de uma época, de representar peças sobre sacrifícios e assassinatos. Ele percorre a Itália sem saber o que quer, esperando por algo que mudará tudo, sabendo apenas que não pode mais se conformar com a vida pequeno burguesa em um escritório.

Um clássico de Antal Szerb, escrito em uma época em que toda Budapeste estava obcecada com a idéia de suicídio. ( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
“ON THE TRAIN everything seemed fine. The trouble began in Venice, with the back alleys.” This is our introduction to Mihaly a Hungarian businessman on his honeymoon in Venice. Mihaly has married his wife Erzi to escape from an adolescent rebellious nature and into the arms of conformity, part of the problem faced is his newly wed bride has married him as an attempt to escape the bourgeois conformity of her life prior to meeting him. As stated in the opening lines, the trouble began with those alleys, as one night Mihaly feeling out of sorts, meanders away from the hotel they are staying at and into those alleys and is still wandering at daybreak. This is like a trial run for what happens later. As not long into the honeymoon Mihaly goes AWOL (accidently enters the wrong train), this is followed by a series of misadventures across Italy as his past catches up with him.

We then follow the journey both of these individuals make, with Erzi heading off to Paris to visit an old friend and a series of characters, one of which is the man she left to marry Mihaly, at one point she seems to be offered as part of a business transaction involving a wealthy Persian. Whilst Mihaly wallows in a combination of self-pity, nostalgia and a sense of confusion that has him bouncing from point to point, bumping into people from his past.

Mihaly as a character shouldn’t inspire our sympathy, apart from his treatment of his bride, he is self-absorbed to the extent that he appears to believe no one else has an inner live, he’s vain, withdrawn, has a combination of amorality & yet appears to be guilt ridden, in fact it’s quite hard to find many redeeming features at all and yet you’ll laugh at him, with him - you’ll want to shake him up just to wake him up, and then pick him up when he falls – as he will.

This is one of those books that although a lot happens, nothing really changes, it was first published in 1937. According to Nicholas Lezard, it is "one of the greatest works of modern European literature”. In some ways it reminds me of the writing of Henry Green, it has that sharp bright intellect, but is warmer, funnier and wears it’s intelligence lightly.


Antal Szerb (May 1, 1901, Budapest - January 27, 1945,) was a noted Hungarian scholar and writer. He is recognized as one of the major Hungarian literary personalities of the 20th century. He was born to assimilated Jewish parents, but baptized Catholic. He studied Hungarian, German and later English, obtaining a doctorate in 1924. From 1924 to 1929 he lived in France and Italy, also spending a year in London, England.

As a student he published essays on Georg Trakl and Stefan George, and quickly established a formidable reputation as a scholar, writing erudite studies of William Blake and Henrik Ibsen among other works. Elected President of the Hungarian Literary Academy in 1933 - aged just 32 -, he published his first novel, The Pendragon Legend, the following year. His second and best-known work Journey by Moonlight, came out in 1937. He was made a Professor of Literature at the University of Szeged the same year. He was twice awarded the Baumgarten Prize, (1935 and 1937).

In 1941 he published a History of World Literature which continues to be authoritative today. He also published a volume on novel theory and a book about the history of Hungarian literature. Given numerous chances to escape anti-Semitic persecution (as late as 1944), he chose to remain in Hungary, where his last novel, Oliver VII, was published in 1942. It was passed off as a translation from the English, as no 'Jewish' work could have been printed at the time. Szerb was deported to a concentration camp late in 1944, and was beaten to death there in January 1945, at the age of 43.

http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/journey-by-moonlight-antal-szerb.ht... ( )
1 vote parrishlantern | Feb 22, 2013 |
After a while I found this book tedious. The situations were so completely different to today and the characters so old fashioned that I could not continue. It didn't even give me much insight into the era. ( )
  gregandlarry | Sep 23, 2012 |
This beautifully written, highly atmospheric and evocative book has a rather passive, annoying main character so in the end I didn’t love it as much as Szerb’s Oliver VII, a perfectly light, airy and ironic fable about a king who stages his own coup and ends up disguised as himself. Mihaly and his new wife Erzsi are on their honeymoon in Italy. It is clear early on that everything is not well – Mihaly has subconscious urges to run off and finally lets Erzsi in on his unresolved issues. They stem from his conflicts with his childhood clique – the siblings, Eva and Tamas, who killed himself under mysterious circumstances, passionately intelligent Ervin, who disappeared, and sardonic and competitive Janos who they encounter in Italy. After a chance accident, Mihaly and Erzsi are separated and Mihaly decides to take the opportunity to look for his friends though he does it in a passive way, relying on fate. Erzsi leaves for Paris and has new adventures and encounters with some of Mihaly’s friends there.

The best part of the book was Szerb’s evocative writing. He creates a memorable portrait of the isolated, intense existence of Mihaly’s group – they were obsessed with death, religion and separation from a conventional life. There are also nicely atmospheric descriptions of the various Italian cities that Mihaly travels to as well as cosmopolitan Paris. Even with all the death and decay, Szerb maintains a light touch in other scenes – Mihaly’s relationship with an earnest American art student and a British doctor, Erzsi’s puzzling of the men in her life in Paris. A kind of mystery lurks under both Mihaly and Erzsi’s experiences. An early nausea and feeling of being sucked into a whirlpool led to Mihaly’s friendship with Eva and Tamas. This recurs at some points in the novel. Fate also follows Mihaly around and facilitates his meetings with his old friends. There are stories of ghosts and suicides and disappearances. Sometimes both Mihaly and Erzsi wonder if everyone in their lives is playacting except for them.

Mihaly and Erzsi married each other for seemingly opposite reasons – Erzsi wanted something other than her first conventional marriage and tried to find it in the odd and dreamy Mihaly while he wanted to want a bourgeois existence with Erzsi. Mihaly’s search in Italy is predictably fueled by his long-standing obsession with Eva. He can be rather annoying in his denial of feelings and passivity – after telling Erzsi the story of his past, she questions his feelings for Eva and he is adamant that he never loved her which is clearly untrue. He also just lets experiences happen to him and sponges off his family and others that he meets. Szerb has a tidy, bittersweet but not unhappy ending where Mihaly and Erzsi both get what they think they want – Eva and a death wish or an exciting break from conventional relationships – but the situations are defused in a slightly ridiculous fashion. Very well-done. ( )
2 vote DieFledermaus | Jun 24, 2012 |
casual unfolding of story with some scepticism, symbolism, and irony, a symmetrical plot of Mihaly and Erzsi with missteps along the way concluding in a satisfactory manner. ( )
  charlespuskas | Aug 25, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
There is something almost divine about this - and that Szerb's great intelligence didn't force him to produce a work of arid perfectionism makes it all the more remarkable. (I salute Rix's wonderful translation, which makes it look as though the book was somehow written in English in the first place.) It's got everything - great travelogues, the messiest study in the world, daft, rich American art students called Millicent ("'Millicent,' he said. 'There's someone in the world actually called Millicent!'"), great jokes about suicide, and superb aperçus: "November in London isn't a month - it's a state of mind." Pushkin Press, in bringing this to our attention, have excelled themselves.

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Antal Szerbprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dandoy, GyörgyiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rix, LenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
First words
On the train everything seemed fine.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
38 wanted
6 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.96)
1 2
2 4
2.5 2
3 16
3.5 11
4 39
4.5 9
5 30

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,475,271 books! | Top bar: Always visible