Welcome to a world of venereal diseases, bacteria and viruses. This masterpiece of Slovak expressionism (first edition - 1928) with its obvious nihilistic streak is based on the author's philosophical work dealing with "the principle of cruelty". He considers cruelty to be the main principle of the organic realm and the purpose of man on Earth to entertain a cruel, bored God.
This naturalist novel's unusually fragmented composition is held together by the character of Dr. Zurian, who works at the Department of Venereological Diseases. His philosophical thoughts, deliberate self-infection with a contagious disease in order to defeat it, conversations with prostitutes, and broken relationship with a woman with whom he eventually commits suicide are all intertwined lines of an innovative text depicting the social atmosphere and giving insight into ideological tendencies in the interwar period in Slovakia.