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The Radetzky March (Works of Joseph Roth) [Paperback]

By Joseph Roth & Nadine Gordimer (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 443244  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.03" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.75"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2002
Publisher   Overlook TP
Age  18
ISBN  1585673269  
EAN  9781585673261  

Availability  6 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 08:13.
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Item Description...
The Radetzky March, Joseph Roth's classic saga of the privileged von Trotta family, encompasses the entire social fabric of the Austro-Hungarian Empire just before World War I. The author's greatest achievement, The Radetzky March is an unparalleled portrait of a civilization in decline, and as such, a universal story for our times.

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More About Joseph Roth & Nadine Gordimer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

Joseph Roth was born in 1894 and died in 1939.

Joseph Roth has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Works of Joseph Roth

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [78538  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary   [246863  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Radetzky March  Oct 21, 2008
Interesting view of Austro-Hungary in the period leading up to WWI. Not exactly joyful, but riveting. Very good translation,
Polished Boots and Empty Gods  Oct 16, 2008
Critics seem to have taken Joseph Roth's portrayal of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the brink of its collapse as nostalgic. In his introduction to this translation, Alan Bance speaks of Roth's "undeniable tendency to idealize the past." I beg to differ. My reading of "The Radetsky March" is not an elegy, in the sense of praise for the dead -not for the dead Hero of Solferino, not for the Emperor he saved from a foolish death, and certainly not for the wounded Leviathan of Empire. The sigh of relief that the reader hears from most of the minor characters at the end of the novel - from the aristocrat Chojnicki to the peasant Onufrij - expresses the dominant sense that the burden of repression which the Empire laid on its peoples was never as tolerable as everyone pretended. Rather, it was an Empire of false ideals and false idols. Loyalty was corrupt, honor indistinguishable from folly. Yes, every belt was buckled and every fork was polished daily, but what of real value did such punctiliousness represent? All hollow formalism, and the hollowest of all was the Kaiser himself, Franz Joseph, first shown to us as a smug peacock, later as a confused relic of his own personal insignificance, musing about his impotence while still practicing his arbitrary absolutism. Underlying the Empire is a structure of ethnic hierarchy, with the Germans and the 'honorary' Germans at the top, and the bizarre red-bearded borderland Jews at the bottom. All order depends on the willing acknowledgement of this hierarchy, yet each component seethes with resentment, making unity no deeper than the gloss on a man's boots. Likewise, society depends on the hierarchic 'satisfaction' with social class boundaries - the faithful servant and the responsible master - yet on both sides of the boundary, humanity is stunted. The masters feel their own inadequacy in the eyes of their servants, and the servants gauge their own mean condition by the emptiness of their masters' lives. The Radetsky March is a processional of gaudy futility.

The novel begins at the Battle of Solferino in 1859, when a Slovene soldier, barely elevated from the peasantry, saves the life of the young Emperor Franz Joseph. It ends at the beginning of World War 1, with the almost simultaneous deaths of the hero's son and grandson and the senile Hapsburg ruler. Another secondary character, Doctor Skowronneck, has the last word; speaking of the dead, he says "I don't think either of them could have outlived Austria." His insight, if I understand him correctly, as that the hollow power of the empire and the hollow virtues of its upholders were inseparable.

Perhaps the most constant personage in this novel of three generations is an icon, and I mean "icon" in its orthodox religious sense. The icon is a portrait of grandfather Trotta, the Hero of Solferino, painted by the school friend of the second generation Trotta, the civil servant. The painter is another sort of self-shaping failure, re-encountered as a street artist by Trotta II with his cadet son, thereafter a shadowy presence likely to cadge money and croak a profundity at random moments. Trotta III, the lieutenant grandson of the Hero, in fact knows the Hero only from his portrait, which haunts his reveries and chides his shortcomings at every turn. Just as the Hero's portrait resembles the universal state portrait of the Kaiser, found in every barracks and every taproom in the Empire, so Trotta II, the bureaucrat, resembles his iconic ruler more and more as he ages, until they metaphorically fuse at death. Death also quicksteps to the Radetzky March in every major phase of the narrative, and it's clear that the face in the portrait is indeed the face of Death. One after another, characters aware of their impending death request two things, Last Rites of the Church and a last look at the portrait of the Hero. Empty faith, empty idolatry!

Published in 1932, The Radetsky March seems to me to be the last great novel of the Nineteenth Century. It's a far more profound 'novel of generations' than Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks. Or I can equally perceive it as a modernist experiment, in which the challenge to the reader is not stylistic but empathetic. Certainly the style is adamantly classical, devoted to writing with near perfection, word by word, rather than to novelty. And it's written with breathtaking beauty of language. Metaphors are few but invariably crisp. Sentences are as disciplined as the shrubs in the gardens of Schoenbrunn. The language always fits the character whose point of view is exposed. I haven't read this novel in German, but I can't imagine that this translation is far inferior; few native Anglophones write English as fresh as Joachim Neugroschel's version of Joseph Roth.
So-So as Literature - Great as History  Apr 25, 2008
No better portrait of the German martial psyche leading up to WWI. The depth of the characters was amazing and the historical detail kept me reading.

Still, tough to get through this sort of multi-generational saga. I have the same reaction to Thomas Mann. Probably a better read in the original German.
The Radetzky March an honorable mention  Apr 23, 2008
I bought two books of the Radetkzy March. Although seen and written through the eyes of a Jewish writer, it is a befitting memorial to one of the imortal pieces of music written about the multinational monarchy of one of Europe's great powers. At least for me, it evoked the days of the grand Habsburg power that sadly ended with an insane Serbian assassin. Lately the world got a taste of Serbian nationalism which provided the death knell to an empire of multinational cohesion. I hope in this case, history will not repeat itself.
Wanted to like it more  Sep 12, 2006
I can't put my finger on why this book just seemed average to me. The writing is clear and easy to read. The descriptions are detailed, but not overly so. The characters are fully-fleshed and interesting. The plot is engrossing. So why didn't I like it more? I don't know. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I can't identify with life in a monarchy and I can't stomach the pampered, entitled lifestyle of people who don't deserve such wealth and leisure.

Regardless of all that, I did find it interesting that Roth depicted gambling addiction so accurately (or at least as I imagine it to be) long before anyone recognized it as such.

While I occasionally felt sorry for the characters, by the end I was just happy to be finished and that I would no longer have to linger in their world.


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