Edited by Jon Hughes. Published 2006. ISBN: 9781904350378.
This is the first monograph on the work of Joseph Roth (1894-1939) to be published in English by a British-based academic, and should prove useful both to those with a specialized interest in Roth,. whose novels and journalism continue to gain admirers around the world, and to those interested more broadly in an extraordinarily rich period in twentieth-century European culture. It serves both as an introduction to the early part of a body of work whose variety and volume were for many years overshadowed by the reputation of the historical novel Radetzkymarsch (1932), and as a reassessment of Roth's writing, both of fiction and of journalism, within the mdoern tradition.
Thematic chapters present a detailed contextual survey of Roth's intense and often ambivalent engagement with aspects of modern life, including travel, gender, technology, the city, and cinema, showing how his responses to the contemporary world affect both the form and content of his writing. The author argues that Roth's writing of the 1920s should be considered modernist not just in its often prescient sensitivity to cultural and political developments, but in its employment of a formal aesthetics and narrative self-consciousness which eventually made possible the illusory 'wholeness' of the later fiction.