The Hotel Years

The Hotel Years

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0811224872

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Hotel Years

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0811224872

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The first overview of all Joseph Roth’s journalism: traveling across a Europe in crisis, he declares,“I am a hotel citizen, a hotel patriot.”

The Hotel Years gathers sixty-four feuilletons: on hotels; pains and pleasures; personalities; and the deteriorating international situation of the 1930s. Never before translated into English, these pieces begin in Vienna just at the end of the First World War, and end in Paris near the outbreak of the Second World War. Roth, the great journalist of his day, needed journalism to survive: in his six-volume collected works in German, there are three of fiction and three of journalism. Beginning in 1921, Roth wrote mostly for the liberal Frankfurter Zeitung who sent him on assignments throughout Germany - the inflation, the occupation, political assassinations - and abroad, to the USSR, Italy, Poland and Albania. And always: “I celebrate my return to lobby and chandelier, porter and chambermaid.”

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permanent laws of the changing seasons. God’s fist has never oppressed us so much; the hand that doles out frost and bitterness every year was never so mild. There is some compensatory mechanism. I come from abroad, where they pack up mercy parcels for Germany’s army, and where the newspapers mount withering attacks on German politicians on their front pages, but their back, human pages stick up for German victims; where the window displays of banks and exchange parlours exhibit endless

steal?” She answers: “I didn’t know what I was doing. I had already taken a lot of morphine.” The judge: “Were you stealing on the orders of your friend?” She, swiftly espying possible salvation: “Yes, yes!” The judge: “Then how can you claim not to have known what you were doing?” She is baffled by the logic. From a world of inebriation and thoughtless exhaustion, she suddenly finds herself in a sphere of implacable reason. Dazzled by the luminosity of logic, she leans back, closing her eyes.

be that the news is reading him. Perhaps he imagines his mind is toying with these half-reported things, filling them out. But these special reports take it out of him. A leader’s shallow scoop would do him in. Everything there is so agleam with shiny common sense that the reader can’t but be dazzled. Now he stands up, the reader, fully in the picture, older, wiser and possibly sadder. With his left hand he smoothes away any unevennesses that may have occurred in his beard and changes his

the Civil War; and then their ruins saw the White hunger galloping through the streets. People died a hundred deaths, a thousand deaths. They ate cats, dogs, crows, rats and their own starving children. They bit themselves and drank the blood. They scratched the earth for fat earthworms and lumps of white chalk which looked to the eye like cheese. Two hours after they had eaten they died in torments. How could these towns even be alive still! How could people haggle and carry suitcases and sell

he didn’t see me. Nor is there my dear friend who walks me to the station and even as we shake hands for the last time remains convinced that he is doing worse out of our friendship than me. There is not even a lady with whom (out of gallantry) I am in love, and who, even as her eye blinks back a tear, is already happy that another man has looked her up and down. I am a stranger in this town. That’s why I was so at home here. There will be only one brief sentimental moment: when the porter has

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