The fascination of a young French woman for the controversial intellectual Bobby Vohler, who died 15 years earlier, takes her to Trieste in Italy. There, with the aid of his former friends, she tries to reconstruct the man's life. She is led by the question of why this editor, highly regarded in literary circles, never published his own work. The young woman scours libraries and second-shops, in search of information about the legend she created herself. Her quest takes her finally to Wimbledon in England, where she meets the woman who is supposed to have known Vohler best.