The Grace of Misery. Joseph Roth and the Politics of Exile, 1919–1939


Winner of the 2015 Victor Adler State Prize (Förderpreis) from the Austrian Ministry of Science and Education!

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.

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Ilse Josepha Lazaroms, Ph.D. (2010), is a post-doctoral research fellow at the History Department at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, and the Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena, Germany. This is her first book.
Life on the Tip of a Pen: Preface
Chapter 1 - Mental Captivity. Re-imagining a Lost Heritage
Chapter 2 - Opening up the Crypt. The Political Potential of Nostalgia
Chapter 3 - The Lamentations of an “Old Jew.” The Artist as Exemplary Sufferer
Chapter 4 - The Double Bind of Self-Narration. Jewish Identity and the Undercurrents of German-Jewish Modernity
Chapter 5 - Prophecies of Unrest. Interwar Europe under an Apocalyptic Lens
All interested in the life and work of Joseph Roth, and scholars and educated readers concerned with modern literature, Jewish history, interwar Europe, and questions of exile and identity.
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