Overview

The Emperor's Tomb is a nostalgic, haunting elegy for the end of youth and the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A continuation of the saga of the von Trotta family from The Radetzky March, it is both a powerful and moving look at a decaying society and its journey through the War and its devastating aftermath, and the story of the erosion of one man's desperate faith in the virtues of a simple life.

Author Biography: Joseph Roth was born in 1894 in a small Galician town...

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The Emperor's Tomb

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Overview

The Emperor's Tomb is a nostalgic, haunting elegy for the end of youth and the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A continuation of the saga of the von Trotta family from The Radetzky March, it is both a powerful and moving look at a decaying society and its journey through the War and its devastating aftermath, and the story of the erosion of one man's desperate faith in the virtues of a simple life.

Author Biography: Joseph Roth was born in 1894 in a small Galician town on the eastern borders of the Hapsburg Empire. After serving in the Austro-Hungarian army from 1916 to 1918, he worked as a journalist in Vienna and in Berlin. He died in Paris in 1939, leaving behind thirteen novels as well as many stories and essays.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his final novel Roth retreads much of the narrative and thematic ground covered by his earlier works, notably Radetsky March. An elegy to the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this novel follows Franz Ferdinand Trotta, a young Viennese fop, from the eve of one World War to the eve of another. As often happens in this era's stories, Trotta watches his life of leisure and promise slowly disappear: trusted servants die, friendships dissolve, marriages become strained, and financial and po-litical instability topple an entire class of Viennese society. As Trotta says in one of his pithier mo-ments, they came to call it the World War not because "the whole world was involved in it, but be-cause as a result of it we lost a whole world, our world." While the novel checks all the marks of an interwar narrative, it does so by rote. Even translator Hoffmann admits that this is a minor work, "a canny valedictory repertoire of Rothian tropes and characters, done fast, glancingly and sometimes approximately." It's difficult to argue with Hoffman's assessment; Roth was a 20th-century master of the quixotic and melancholy, but this novel, though glimmering with his talent, lacks command and depth. (May)
Library Journal
Novelist and journalist Roth (1894–1939) is known largely for his writings on the Austro-Hungarian Empire and particularly on the Jews living there in the previous century. This final novel is an extension of his most famous work, The Radetzky March (1932), following the life of a cousin first introduced in that book's pages. As the narrative moves from the end of World War I to the Nazi ascension in postwar Vienna, the inevitable bleakness makes the fate of the protagonist, a likable dandy, all the more heartbreaking. History, as seen through the eyes of this single character, is a compelling, timeless read. Roth has crafted a moving sketch of the world's darkest times, while poet and award-winning translator Hofmann (e.g., the Dublin International IMPAC Award) continues his tradition of keeping European classics available for modern English-reading audiences. VERDICT Start with The Radetzky March, then continue with this book; the way Roth writes about lives and history is everything but boring.—Travis Fristoe, Alachua Cty. Lib. Dist., Gainesville, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590208465
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 157
  • Sales rank: 1,160,749
  • File size: 455 KB

Meet the Author

Joseph Roth (1894-1939) has been admired by J. M. Coetzee, Cathleen Schine, Jeffrey Eugenides, Joseph Brodsky, and Nadine Gordimer, among others. His noted works include The Radetzky March, The Legend of the Holy Drinker, The Leviathan (his final work, published posthumously after Roth’s untimely death at the age of 44) and the anthology The Collected Stories of Joseph Roth.

For his translations, acclaimed poet Michael Hofmann has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Dublin International IMPAC Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (four times). He is the highly acclaimed translator of, among others, Kafka, Brecht, and Joseph Roth.

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