Thanks to Persuasive of Longbarn for the heads up as they say across the way.
Give me much, much more Joseph Roth, in fact as much as has been translated.To that end Radetsky March, Job and The Legend of the Holy Drinker are on their way to fulfill the craving,
There is nothing to beat a quiet Sunday afternoon curled up with one of these mid-European, between the wars authors and Hotel Savoy written in 1923 was perfect.
In so many of these books not a lot happens, that's almost the point. Plot is subsumed by a dense and precise but gentle narrative that belies the turmoil in progress.
The shadows of fascism are ever present and read with hindsight these books are all the more compelling. We know what happens next, Joseph Roth didn't, but he telegraphs it all with a fine sense of unspoken prediction.The signs are there and he detects them, littering them for us like clues, gaps we can fill in only too well.
There is something melancholy and haunting and quietly addictive about all these books and the mood they leave you with and Hotel Savoy must be added to the list.
It is a book replete with parable as the Hotel Savoy, in an unnamed European city, slowly fills with the refugees of the Great War, some penniless some with their wealth intact and overseeing it all from the 7th floor is Gabriel Dan returning from a Siberian prison camp.The poorer you are the nearer the top floor of the hotel you live, nearer to heaven you could say, while the wealthy occupy the lower rooms.
Austrian-born Joseph Roth was a prolific writer and journalist in the Weimar Republic eventually dying of alcoholism in Paris in 1939. He lived for some time with another favourite of mine, Irmgard Keun, the writer of The Artificial Silk Girl and that must surely feature here any day now.
As I read Joseph Roth I'm starting to see the influences.