Transparent Things revolves around the four visits of the hero--sullen, gawky Hugh Person--to Switzerland . . . As a young publisher, Hugh is sent to interview R., falls in love with Armande on the way, wrests her, after multiple humiliations, from a grinning Scandinavian and returns to NY with his bride. . . . Eight years later--following a murder, a period of madness and a brief imprisonment--Hugh makes a lone sentimental journey to wheedle out his past. . . . The several strands of dream, memory, and time [are] set off against the literary theorizing of R. and, more centrally, against the world of observable objects.