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Job
     

Job

by Joseph Roth
 

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A contemporary retelling of the Book of Job from the Bible.

Job
 is the tale of Mendel Singer, a pious, destitute Eastern-European Jew and children’s Torah teacher whose faith is tested at every turn. His youngest son seems to be incurably disabled, one of his older sons joins the Russian Army, the other deserts to America, and his daughter is

Overview

A contemporary retelling of the Book of Job from the Bible.

Job
 is the tale of Mendel Singer, a pious, destitute Eastern-European Jew and children’s Torah teacher whose faith is tested at every turn. His youngest son seems to be incurably disabled, one of his older sons joins the Russian Army, the other deserts to America, and his daughter is running around with a Cossack. When he flees with his wife and daughter, further blows of fate await him. In this modern fable based on the biblical story of Job, Mendel Singer witnesses the collapse of his world, experiences unbearable suffering and loss, and ultimately gives up hope and curses God, only to be saved by a miraculous reversal of fortune.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Job is perfect. . . . a novel as lyric poem. —Joan Acocella

Galician Jewry achieved another grand figure in Joseph Roth, whose Job is both immensely sorrowful and finally strangely hopeful. —Harold Bloom

Job is more than a novel and legend, it is a pure, perfect poetic work, which is destined to outlast everything that we, his contemporaries, have created and written. In unity of construction, in depth of feeling, in purity, in the musicality of the language, it can scarcely be surpassed. —Stefan Zweig

This life of an everyday man moves us as if someone had written of our lives, our longings, our struggles. Roth’s language has the discipline and rigor of German Classicism. A great and harrowing book that no one can resist. —Ernst Toller

A beautifully written, and in the end uplifting, parable for an era of upheaval . . . Job, opened to any page, offers something of beauty. . . Ross Benjamin's excellent new translation gives us both the realism and the poetry. —The Quarterly Conversation

The totality of Joseph Roth's work is no less than a tragédie humaine achieved in the techniques of modern fiction. —Nadine Gordimer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935744351
Publisher:
Steerforth Press
Publication date:
08/07/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
250
File size:
286 KB

Read an Excerpt

Many years ago there lived in Zuchnow a man named Mendel Singer. He was pious, God-fearing and ordinary, an entirely every- day Jew. He practiced the modest profession of a teacher. In his house, which consisted of only a roomy kitchen, he imparted to children knowledge of the Bible. He taught with genuine enthusiasm and without spectacular success. Hundreds of thousands before him had lived and taught as he did. As insignificant as his nature was his pale face. A full beard of ordinary black framed it completely. His mouth was hidden by the beard. His eyes were large, black, languid and half veiled by heavy lids. On his head sat a cap of black silk rep, a material out of which unfashionable and cheap ties are sometimes made. His body was wrapped in a customary half-long Jewish caftan, the skirts of which fluttered when Mendel Singer rushed through the street, knocking with a hard regular wing beat against the shafts of his high leather boots. Singer seemed to have little time and nothing but pressing goals. Certainly his life was always hard and at times even a torment. He had a wife and three children to clothe and feed. (She was pregnant with a fourth.) God had bestowed fertility on his loins, equanimity on his heart and poverty on his hands. They had no gold to weigh and no banknotes to count. Still, his life ran steadily along like a poor little brook between sparse banks.

Meet the Author

Joseph Roth was born in 1894 in Galicia, an eastern province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the First World War, he abandoned his studies in Vienna to serve in the Austrian Army. He wrote thirteen novels and numerous short stories and essays. Published in 1930, Job became his first worldwide success, followed by his magnum opus, The Radetzky March, in 1932. When Hitler rose to power, Roth went into exile in Paris, where he died in 1939. Ross Benjamin is a writer and translator living in Nyack, New York. His translations include Friedrich Hölderlin's Hyperion, Kevin Vennemann's Close to Jedenew and Thomas Pletzinger's Funeral for a Dog. He was a 2003-2004 Fulbright Scholar in Berlin and won the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize for his rendering of Michael Maar's Speak, Nabokov.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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