Professor Martens' Departure
His new historical novel, Professor Martens’ Departure, is written in a classic elegiac style reminiscent of Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, and it evokes the complex world of czarist Russian ...more
Martens was involved in establishing the World Court at The Hague and the International Red Cross organization.
The book is a fictionalized but very factual biography. Unlike a traditional bio ...more
A book and its reader are a relationship and the resulting love can be as inexplicable to the onlooker as any that we see between apparently mismatched people. I once tried to persuade my mother to read The Blue Flower but saw the look in her eyes when I had got as far as explaining that the poet Nova ...more
In this historical fiction, we follow the final journey of Friedrich Martens, Estonian international law specialist and diplomat of the late Czarist era, on the 7th June 1909 (Julian calendar) by train between PÃ¤rnu and St. Petersburg. He died suddenly at the Valga train station. During the trip from PÃ¤rnu to Valga, he reminisce about various events affecting his life, from his career successes and setbacks to his relationship with his wife, Kati, and his infidelities, also including th...more
If Professor Martens’ Departure had to be made into a film , I would definitely resurrect Ingmar Bergman to direct it. The plot of this book is so Bergman-esque that images of his films kept popping in my head.
Professor F.Martens is returning to his native land of St. Petersburg from Estonia. On the lengthy train ride he reflects about his life , his affairs and his achievement. He also tries to see parallels between his life and another F. Martens who lived in Germany a century earlier ( the bo ...more
The story is sombre and slow-paced. Professor Martens, Estonian-born, a specialist in the minutiae of international law, is summoned out of retirement to consult with the ministry in tsarist St.-Petersburg. Outside his train window, the revolution of 1905 is in progress. And very slowly, very hesitantly, Martens comes to realise that he's devoted his life t ...more