The Radetzky March, By Joseph Roth
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Saturday 05 January 2013
Michael Hofmann's dazzling recent translations have secured a place for Roth, that peerless celebrant and satirist of the dying Austro-Hungarian Empire, in the affections of an army of Anglophone readers.
This re-issue of his 1932 masterpiece - in Hofmann's galloping prose - should enlist another phalanx of fans. It traces, via the Trotta family's fate, the bittersweet decline of the empire from Moravia via Vienna to Galicia.
Roth weds epic sweep and scope to irony, pathos and keen wit, sustained across glorious set-pieces.
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