Aging writer Gustave von Aschenbach is disappointed by Venice. The skies are leaden, the air is thick and sultry, and a sickening stench emanates from the murky labyrinth of canals. It would hardly be sensible to stay, especially not when rumours of a ‘sickness’ spread through the city. And yet Aschenbach cannot leave: he has seen an entirely beautiful young boy and has fallen under an enchantment. He must stay near the boy, though never speaking to him, even until it is too late.