About Joseph Roth
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Author, Joseph Roth -  AKG Photo London
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Joseph Roth

About Joseph Roth

An Interview with Joseph Roth

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Joseph Roth was born in 1894, in a small Galician town on the eastern borders of the Habsburg Empire. From 1916 to 1918 he served in the Austro-Hungarian army, a period of his life shrouded in uncertainty during which he later claimed to have spent some months in Russian captivity. He then worked as a journalist in Vienna, Berlin and Frankfurt, covering events in Europe. In 1933 he left Germany and lived mainly in Paris and the south of France. He was one of the central figures in the émigré intellectual opposition to the Nazis. His was nevertheless the life of a fugitive; often unable to get his books published, and beset by poverty, loneliness and despair, he died of the effects of alcoholism in 1939.

Joseph Roth wrote thirteen novels as well as many stories and essays. Haunted by never having known his father, who had become insane before his birth and died in 1910 in Russia, he frequently explored the relationship between father and son in his writings. The theme is interwoven with the experiences of war and anti-semitism. Flight Without End (1927) is the story of a disillusioned officer returning home, and Job (1930) is a moving portrait of a modern wandering Jew. The Radetzky March (1932), a remarkable chronicle of the decaying Austro-Hungarian Empire, was followed by its sequel The Emperor's Tomb (1938) which continues the story up to the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria by Hitler's Germany. Roth is now recognised, along with Thomas Mann, Proust and Joyce, as one of the greatest writers in modern literature.

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Author Image: Joseph Roth - AKG Photo London