A novel about the photographer František Drtikol. Have you ever wondered what a story written by a beam of light would be like? Firstly, the story would be ordinary but the course of events extraordinary; secondly, its hero would be a photographer, a guardian of light; thirdly, naturally, it would be full of shadow. So who was František Drtikol? A dandy from a small mining town, a world-famous photographer whose business went bankrupt, a master of the nude who never had much luck with women, a mystic and a Buddhist who believed in communism, a man of many contradictions. The conception of Jan Němec’s extensive novel is very unusual for contemporary Czech prose – fresco-like, it is an artistic and spiritual Bildungsroman that covers over half a century, bringing to life the silver mines of Přibram, Jugendstil Munich and First Republic Bohemianism, with naked models wandering along the lines and light merging unobserved with knowledge...