For some years Melville House has published the Art of the Novella series, which is now supplanted by the Contemporary Art of the Novella series, of which Nobel laureate Imre Kertész is the debut title. Tim Wilkinson, who translated the work from Hungarian, points out:
[Kertész] seems strenuously to avoid making specific reference to either time or place, which puts the onus on the reader to figure out exactly what they are about. If you are not Hungarian (or central European) by birth, that may be a big ask, but it is not impossible. In The Pathseeker, the reader is faced with trying to decide not just when and where the two days of action that it describes take place, but what the enquiry (or path-seeking) that is described is, and even in what capacity the main protagonist, the mysterious unnamed commissioner, is acting.