Amazon was kind enough to deliver The Book (aka The Third Tower — Journeys in Italy by Antal Szerb) on the first working day of 2015. Here’s proof:
In the first post, I promised I would update the text I quoted once I receive this book. Then I thought that, instead of simply changing the original post, the text would stand out better in a separate article — and readers have the benefit of better understanding from two different translations.
“The tower stands apart, at the far corner of the mountain top, on an inaccessible cliff, very steep on both sides. The town doesn’t extend this far, and as you pick your way to the end of the crest you are made giddy by the height. […] There, at the foot of the Third Tower, I understood everything. My restlessness — […] during the entire journey I had been forced into contact with that collectivity of the lonely, the euphoric Italian collectivity. I shielded my solitariness from them, and from the European future that they represented for me. I felt my solitary happiness threatened by their happiness of the herd because they were stronger than I was. […] The happiness I feel here at the foot of the Third Tower is something I must not give up for anyone: for anyone, or anything. I cannot surrender my soul to any nation state, or to any set of beliefs.”
(Translated by Len Rix, 2014. Pushkin Press: London.)