The collection of nine novellas is Tatarka's debut. It was first published by Matica slovenská in 1942.
The titles of the novellas refer to the scope of the author's search: Podvojná rozprávka (The Binary Fairy Tale), Ošiaľ (Craze), V úzkosti hľadania (The Anguish of Searching), Pred zrkadlom (in Front of the Mirror), Človek na diaľku (The Long-distance Man), Pach (The Scent), Červený Benčat (Red Benčat), Kohútik v agónii (Little Rooster in Agony) and Ešte s vami pobudnúť (To Stay with You for a Little Longer). Anguish as the emotional vertical of the soul becomes the search engine. It exposes the human existence, people and most of all civilians endangered by war, struck by the loss of a family member and by nothingness. As Tatarka sees it, life's triunity is made of love, pain and terror. Thanks to his strong empathy he is able to feel, see and delve into that which is vulnerable - the human core. The novella Scent is a terrifying account of what war atrocities can do to a human life.