Cover image for The collected stories of Joseph Roth
The collected stories of Joseph Roth
Roth, Joseph, 1894-1939.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Erzählungen. Selections. English
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2002]

Physical Description:
281 pages ; 25 cm
The honors student -- Barbara -- Career -- The place I want to tell you about... -- Sick people -- Rare and ever rarer in this world of empirical facts... -- The cartel -- April, the story of a love affair -- The blind mirror -- The grand house opposite -- Strawberries -- This morning, a letter arrived... -- Youth -- Stationmaster Fallmerayer -- The triumph of a beauty, a novella -- The bust of the Emperor, a novella -- The Leviathan, a novella.
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Roth's novellas and short stories will rank with Chekhov's and Kafka's as among the greatest of modern literature. Appearing in English for the first time, The Collected Stories of Joseph Roth is a remarkable achievement, seventeen novellas and stories that echo the intensity and achievement of his greatest novel, The Radetzky March. Spanning the entire range of Roth's brief life (1894-1939) and including many stories just recently discovered, the book showcases the stunning "Strawberries" (1929), which comprises the first few chapters of a novel Roth would never complete. Here, clearly at the height of his literary prowess, Roth depicts his native town of Brody, a mad little Jewish village given over to mild criminality, yet oddly still ticking along. Similarly breathtaking, indeed reminiscent of Chekhov, are the novellas "Stationmaster Fallmerayer" (1933) and "The Bust of the Emperor" (1935). These short works, each a stunning example of Roth's legendary explorations of character, reflect an enduring and tragic sensibility that stands alone in the annals of twentieth-century fiction.

Author Notes

Author and journalist Joseph Roth was born on September 2, 1894. During World War I, he served in the Austro-Hungarian army from 1916 to 1918. Afterwards, he worked as a journalist in Vienna and in Berlin. His best-known works are The Radetzky March and Job. He died in Paris on May 27, 1939 and is buried in Thiais Cemetery.

(Bowker Author Biography) Joseph Roth is the author of such classics as The Radetzky March and The Emperor's Tomb. He died in Paris in 1939.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Born in Galicia in 1894, Roth died in Paris in 1939 after witnessing cataclysmic change. He left behind potent works of scintillating insight and trenchant wit now newly translated, including his prescient journalism in The Wandering Jew (2000), his masterful novels, and this consuming collection of satiric short stories and novellas. Combining a shrewd reportorial eye with a taste for the fantastic and droll, Roth portrays characters living materially and spiritually impoverished lives in isolated Eastern European villages and those left homeless in their own homes in the tumultuous aftermath of World War I, the disconcerting predicament he dramatizes so sensitively in "The Bust of the Emperor." Love and its lack also fascinate Roth, who expresses sympathy for women in "The Honor Student," "April," and the breathtaking "Stationmaster Fallmerayer," then portrays a vicious man-eater in "The Triumph of Beauty," a haunting tale deepened by homoerotic undertones. Once again, award-winning translator Hofmann substantiates the claim that Roth should be ranked beside Chekhov and Kafka. Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Belatedly recognized in this country, but long acclaimed in Europe for such brilliant, classic novels as The Radetzky March, Roth died in 1939 in the early days of WWII. The 17 stories in this collection display his diverse but sometimes erratic talent. In the early entries, Roth paints his plots and characters in short, broad strokes, a trait leading to abrupt, unpredictable plot twists that occasionally blur the effect of his shorter works. When he stretches out and delves into the irony and humor of European life, however, his narratives acquire considerable resonance. "Station Fallmerayer," written in 1933, is a heartrending account of an Austrian station master who becomes obsessed with a Russian countess he rescues from a train wreck, despite the effects his pursuit has on their respective marriages. "The Triumph of Beauty" works on a different level as Roth explores the impact of an attractive, fickle hypochondriac on her beleaguered husband. Several other narratives extend to novella length, and the collection also contains works that were intended as blueprints for novels, such as the vividly evocative, elegiac "Strawberries." His penultimate achievement, "The Leviathan," tells of a coral merchant preoccupied with the mystery of the sea, who falls for the lure of selling fake merchandise, only to join his precious original wares in the watery depths. This collection marks the first time Roth's short fiction (some of which came to light only recently) has been available in English, and although a few of these stories are immature early works, taken together they testify to the talents of a writer who was penetratingly prescient about the tragedies that marred the 20th century. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The Austrian-born Roth is probably best known for his 1932 novel, The Radetzky March, which portrayed how, through a quirk of fate, an unassuming soldier and his family are suddenly elevated to a higher station within the soon-to-be crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire, severing them forever from the life that they had known and loved. The detail with which Roth portrayed his country and customs in that novel is evident in this collection, which couples recently unearthed stories from Roth's early career with previously published stories and novellas from his career after fleeing the Nazis in 1933. His early pieces tend toward the ironic and personal, exposing fatal flaws in the sad lives of his heroes, like "The Honor Student" who puts ambition before love or the paper pusher who is foolishly loyal to his less-than-progressive employer in "Career." Roth's later works widen in scope and echo the times and feelings surrounding World War I, as in the thwarted would-be romance of "Stationmaster Fallmerayer" and the heartfelt requiem for the passing of monarchy in "The Bust of the Emperor." But the irony remains throughout, as does Roth's gift of storytelling, which is intentionally simple and direct. The volume is seemingly aimed at Roth's followers, but readers interested in the period will welcome it as well. Larger libraries will find this a good complement to Radetzky and Roth's other novels. Marc Kloszewski, Indiana Free Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 9
The Honors Studentp. 17
Barbarap. 31
Careerp. 40
The place I want to tell you about ...p. 47
Sick Peoplep. 54
Rare and ever rarer in this world of empirical facts ...p. 66
The Cartelp. 71
April The story of a love affairp. 79
The Blind Mirrorp. 98
The Grand House Oppositep. 134
Strawberriesp. 138
This morning, a letter arrived ...p. 166
Youthp. 173
Stationmaster Fallmerayerp. 180
The Triumph of Beauty A Novellap. 202
The Bust of the Emperor A Novellap. 227
The Leviathan A Novellap. 248
About the Storiesp. 277
About the Authorp. 279
About the Translatorp. 281