Antal Szerb’s The Traveler

Discussion and analysis of the book, The Traveler, by Antal Szerb.

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This paper introduces, discusses, and analyzes the book, The Traveler, written by Antal Szerb and edited by Peter Hargitai. Specifically, the paper discusses the novel’s androgyny, `death eroticism,` and how the novel is a rite of passage.
`From the beginning of this novel, it is clear the main character, Mihaly, is not your typical bridegroom. First, he is thirty-six, a bit old for a groom, and second, he leaves his new wife to wander the alleys of Venice alone early in the story, hardly the thing an ardent bridegroom would do on his honeymoon. There is more to Mihaly than meets the eye, and even his wife recognizes this early on, when she muses, ` and, for that matter, how little women really interested him` (Szerb 7), and he has `secrets which he did not confess even to himself` (Szerb 8). Their relationship is odd from the beginning, and it is clear Mihaly is an androgynous man who does not understand himself, or the people around him. As he recounts his story, it is clear that he has no hint of his own sexuality, and so, he surrounds himself with androgynous people who complement his own lack of sensuality and sexual feeling. He seems to blame much of this on his childhood and adolescence, but it is clear throughout the book that Mihaly is simply a bland personality, who ultimately has no thoughts or deep feelings for anyone but himself and the dead Tamas.`

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