Wandering Jew The Search for Joseph Roth

Review From User :

"In Russian and in Ruthenian -- the nineteenth-century term for the local Slavic vernacular -- U kraina means 'at the border'. It is neither one place nor another. Ukraine is one of the most displaced places in Europe and Joseph Roth was its unreliable laureate." (8)

"His language is German, but his subject matte is often Slavic, sometimes Jewish and always extra-territorial." (25-6)

"He writes in German but he is not really a German writer." (75)

"The dream is the pre-lapsarian Hapsburg Empire where everything and everyone have their own space by the grace of the commander-in-chief. This is where Roth is almost alone among early twentieth-century Austro-German writers, even his friend Stefan Zweig. It is also where the two halves of his creative personality -- the ironic and the romantic -- underpin each other." (82)

"What could be more perverse than to apply for Austrian citizenship when Austria was on its knees and his native Galicia was being absorbed into a reborn Polish Republic Even in the midst of inflation and political murder it was better to be supra-national than live under a mutant species of nationalism. When Austria followed the same path, he continued his restless pursuit of paradox in the Weimar Republic and Soviet Russia. The greatest irony of his life was the way in which his very despair ... opened his eyes to the darkness around him." (131-2)

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