With a delightful combination of the ridiculous and the sublime, Jonke explores surreal dimensions of space and sound, always anchoring his flights of fancy in accessible imagery. More than any other author, Jonke, a pianist turned writer, avails himself of compositional techniques from classical music. Different characters sound their own themes in cleverly orchestrated conversations. Opening observations are restated at the end by another character instead of in another key. Not surprisingly, the first-person narrator is a composer, a young man who is all the more likeable for his difficulties: his missing girlfriend and his withdrawal symptoms. The title is taken from a collection of studies by Carl Czerny; the content is a literary tour de force.