Mathias Énard’s immersive, nocturnal, musical journey is a declaration of admiration, a hand reaching out, a bridge of words between West and East. Translated by Charlotte Mandell.
As night falls over Vienna, Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories. He revisits his life: his travels to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus and Tehran; the various writers, artists, musicians, academics and explorers who populate this vast dreamscape. At the centre of these memories is an elusive, unrequited love – Sarah, a fiercely intelligent French scholar caught in the perpetual tension between Europe and the Middle East.