The Grace of Misery. Joseph Roth and the Politics of Exile, 1919-‐1939
Ilse Josepha Lazaroms, Central European University
The Grace of Misery. Joseph Roth and the Politics of Exile 1919–1939 confronts the life and intellectual heritage of the Galician-Jewish exiled journalist and writer Joseph Roth (1894–1939). Through the quandaries that occupied his mature writings—nostalgia, suffering, European culture, Judaism, exile, self-narration—the book analyses the greater Central European literary culture of the interwar European years through the lens of modern displacement and Jewish identity.
Moving between his journalism, novels and correspondence, Lazaroms follows Roth's life as it rapidly disintegrated alongside radicalized politics, exile, the rise of Nazism, and Europe’s descent into another world war. Despite these tragedies, which forced him into homelessness, Roth confronted his predicament with an ever-growing political intensity. The Grace of Misery is an intellectual portrait of a profoundly modern writer whose works have gained a renewed readership in the last decade.