Three Novellas, Joseph Roth

We have here “Fallmerayer the Stationmaster” (1933), “The Bust of the Emperor” (1935), and “The Legend of the Holy Drinker” (1939). I suppose the last of these is the most famous (partially because Roth died not long after writing it and partially because it seems to offer autobiographical insights), but my favorite is the middle one, which sums up Roth’s keen sense of the social, political, and cultural dynamics of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire in a single bittersweet parable. All three short pieces are well worth the read.

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