Book 765 Jaan Kross – Professor Martens’ Departure


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 book takes place in 1909).

The novel is essentially about memory ; it’s unreliability and how the human person can forgive one’s action. To be honest though this book , like some if Bergman’s films , drags a bit in places and the tranquility of the novel sometimes can be overbearing. On the whole though it is ok and the translation is pretty go as well. One of those books you have to be really in the mood for.