Joseph Roth

Should Novels and Politics Mix?
November 02, 2011

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in events honoring Irmgard Keun and Amos Oz—two writers who, on the surface, would seem to have little in common. Keun (1905-1982), born in Berlin, was a literary darling of Weimar Germany who promptly found her works blacklisted after the Nazis came to power. She spent the late 1930s in exile—for a time as the companion of the Austrian-Jewish writer Joseph Roth—before returning to Germany, where she lived out the rest of her life in relative obscurity.

Why The Iaea Is Like A Cuckolded Husband
November 21, 2008

I wish I could recall for sure the name of the author. Maybe it is Arthur Shnitzler or Joseph Roth. In any case, a German Jewish writer, probably from Vienna. If you now who the author is please let me know. Anyway, it's not about the who's who. It's about the vignette. I can't do it justice but here goes: A cuckolded husband obsesses about his wife and her affairs. He sees her and him in many confirming circumstances. One day he follows his darling to their assignation.  What does he see? A little preliminary stuff that couldn't be counted as proof in a court.  And then the denouement.

The Magician
March 03, 2003

Gershom Scholem: A Life in Letters, 1914-1982 Edited and translated by Anthony David Skinner (Harvard University Press, 512 pp., $35) Click here to purchase the book. I. I. When the Baal Shem Tov had to do something very hard, he went out into the woods, lit a fire, and said a prayer, and the task was done. In the next generation, when his disciple had to do a difficult thing, he also went out into the woods. He could no longer light the fire, but he said the prayer, and that was enough.