The Radetzky March book. The imagery he creates out of the most mundane moments reminds me of the Dostoevsky ability to write about the nuances of a character getting out of bed in the morning and keeping the reader fascinated.
Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March (html)/images/00001. jpg Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March (html)/images/00002. jpg Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March (html)/images/00003. jpg Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March (html)/images/00004. jpg Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March (html)/images/calibre cover. jpg Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March (html)/stylesheet. Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition.
Radetzky March (German: Radetzkymarsch) is a 1932 novel by Joseph Roth chronicling the decline and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire via the story of the Trotta family. Radetzkymarsch is an early example of a story that features the recurring participation of a historical figure, in this case the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830–1916).
I had wanted to read Joseph Roth’s masterpiece ‘The Radetzky March‘ for a long time. So when I discovered that Caroline from ‘Beauty is a Sleeping Cat’ and Lizzy from ‘Lizzy’s Literary Life’ were hosting a readalong of the book, I was so excited! Here is the first post for the readalong which covers the first part of the book. For those of you, who haven’t read the book, this post is filled with spoilers. Please be forewarned. Welcome to the spring readalong of Joseph Roth’s more famous novel, The Radetzky March.
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JOSEPH ROTH (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born into a Jewish family in Galicia, on the eastern edge of the empire, he was a prolific political journalist and novelist. On Hitler's assumption of power, he was obliged to leave Germany for Paris, where he died in poverty a few years later. His books include What I Saw, Job, The White Cities, The String of Pearls and The Radetzky March, all published by Granta Books
The Radestky March is the second book by Joseph Roth that I’ve read. My billet about Hotel Savoy is here. The book opens at the battle of Solferino where the Austrians fight against the French in 1859. France was ruled by Napoléon III at the time and it’s a victory for the French. The Austrian emperor Franz-Joseph I is on the battlefield and he’s about to do something stupid that could get him killed by a French sniper. Lieutenant Trotta sees it coming, throws the emperors to the ground and saves his life. Franz-Joseph ennobles Trotta who becomes Baron von Trotta and Sipolje, the small village he comes from.
It’s the Radetzky March. Ah. And by having this little man conduct it, it comes to represent everything that is preposterously tradition-bound in early 20th Century Austria. After the weekly Sunday concert, his visit to the district captain’s house is the embarrassing ritual that first reintroduces us to the man who never learned how to relate to anyone. I don’t think Roth is presenting the district captain to us as merely ridiculous. What they don’t know, as Roth reminds us in the final sentence of the chapter and of Book 1, is that ‘the Empress had died long ag. (A word about uniforms. Carl Joseph is killed in the early days of a War that Roth characterises as pointless and riven by ethnic rivalries, and the final lines of Chapter 21 confirm his father’s sense of devastation. His office was terminated, His world was ended.
In the awesome THE RADETZKY MARCH, Joseph Roth uses males in three successive generations of the Trotta family to examine the social and military ethos of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1859 (the Battle of Solferino) through the brutal beginnings of The Great War. In this period, the Trotta males are: o Joseph Trotta: an obscure officer in the infantry with a peasant background who, through a quirk of fate, saves the life of the Emperor. In response, the Emperor elevates Trotta to the nobility and a sinecure in government.