Imre Kertész, awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature, is best known for works which draw from his experiences as a teenager in Nazi concentration camps. The Pathseeker, published in Hungarian in 1977 and newly translated into English, is another semi-autobiographical return to events during the Holocaust.
The Pathseeker, a man we learn little about, embarks on a journey that is both mysterious and haunting. In the limited space of this novella details are spare and vague. If we read very carefully, with a tuned ear and sharp senses, we realize we have travelled to the site of a former German concentration camp, amidst a town populated with people who deny its history. If the clues pass us by, we are nevertheless involved with the man every step of the way, watching as he begins to unlock secrets buried in his deepest memory.
An excellent afterward by the translator highlights the classic literary touchstones the author wrote in to place the story in its exact time, location, and political context. There is much to consider in this slim, but powerful tale. Afterward.