'Intercities' is an erudite collection of philosophical travel stories about cities including Vienna, Dresden, Trieste, Venice and Sydney. The title reflects both the passion with which the writer tries to uncover the meaning behind the facade of each city he visits and the intellectual power that lies at the heart of his stories. In his travels Hertmans continually draws upon world literature: in Vienna he walks in Kafka’s footsteps, in Trieste he encounters Svevo, Joyce and Winckelmann, and in the reconstructed centre of Dresden he meets the hero of one of Harry Mulisch’s novels.
The great charm of this book lies in its explosive mix of opinion and storytelling.El Pais
The author of a substantial oeuvre, Hertmans is perpetuating the Renaissance tradition of the Grand Tour. As the writer approaches the end of his journey, the cities melt together and reflect one another in his mind. The result is a beautiful balance between intellectual understanding and personal impressions. His great strength is his ability to keep his eyes open in all circumstances and to surprise himself with the realization that ‘travelling often turns out to be a process of finding what you weren’t looking for’.