Roth, Joseph or Józef(yō`zĕf rōt), 1894–1939, Austrian novelist, essayist, journalist, and publisherb. Brody, Galicia. An outspoken critic of Hitler and militarism, he moved to Paris in 1933. Roth became one of Europe's leading journalists in the era between the World Wars. His novels, though basically conservative, reflect political awareness and skepticism. They include Hotel Savoy (1924, tr. 1986), Rebellion (1924, tr. 1999), and Die Flucht ohne Ende (1927; tr. Flight without End, 1930, 1977). His best-known novels are Hiob (1930; tr. Job, 1933), concerning the struggle of Eastern European Jews, and Radetzkymarsch (1932; tr. The Radetzky March, 1933, 1974, 1985), an ironic multigenerational portrait of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that is generally considered his masterpiece. Roth's Collected Stories and a collection of his essays on Berlin (1920–33) were published in English in 2002, his Parisian essays (1925–39) in 2004.
See M. Hofmann, ed., Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters (2012); studies by C. Mathew (1984), S. Rosenfeld (2002), and V. Weidermann (2016).
Born Sept. 2, 1894, in Schwabendorf bei Brody, now in the Ukrainian SSR; died May 27, 1939, in Paris. Austrian writer.
Roth studied philosophy and Germanic languages and cultures in Vienna. He fought in World War I from 1916 to 1918, later becoming a journalist and attacking fascism from a standpoint of bourgeois humanism. In 1933 he emigrated to France.
Roth wrote antimilitarist realistic and satirical novels about postwar Europe, including Hotel Savoy (1924; Russian translation, 1925), The Rebellion (1924; Russian translation, 1925), Zipper and His Father (1927; Russian translation, Zipper and Son, 1929), and Right and Left (1929). In his best novel, Radetsky’s March (1932; Russian translation, 1939), and its sequel The Tomb of the Capuchins (1938), Roth depicted the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The essay “Flight Without End” (1926) and the novel Job (1930) were devoted to the life of Jews after the war. White Russian émigrés in Europe were depicted in the novels Tarabas, a Guest on Earth (1934) and Confession of a Murderer (1936). The novel The False Weight (1937) reflected Roth’s dual attitude toward the USSR: while recognizing the historic importance of the October Revolution of 1917, he rejected revolutionary methods of struggle.
WORKSWerke, vols. 1–3. Edited by H. H. Kesten. Cologne, 1956.
REFERENCESKnipovich, E. “Marsh Radetskogo: Roman I. Rota.” Literaturnoe obozrenie, 1939, no. 16.
Langer, N. Dichteraus Österreich, 3rd series. Vienna-Munich, 1958.
N. B. VESELOVSKAIA