The Tale of the 1002nd Night by Joseph Roth

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Synopsis

Vienna of the late nineteenth century, with its contrasting images of pomp and profound melancholy, provides the backdrop for Joseph Roth's final novel, which he completed in exile, a few years before his tragic death in 1939. The Tale of the 1002nd Night is a brilliant, allegorical tale of seduction and personal and societal ruin, set amidst exquisite, wistful descriptions of a waning aristocratic age, and provides an essential link to our understanding of Roth's extraordinary fictive powers.

 

About Joseph Roth

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Joseph Roth (1894-1939) has been admired by J. M. Coetzee, Cathleen Schine, Jeffrey Eugenides, Joseph Brodsky, and Nadine Gordimer, among others. His noted works include The Radetzky March, The Legend of the Holy Drinker, The Leviathan (his final work, published posthumously after Roth’s untimely death at the age of 44) and the anthology The Collected Stories of Joseph Roth. For his translations, acclaimed poet Michael Hofmann has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Dublin International IMPAC Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (four times). He is the highly acclaimed translator of, among others, Kafka, Brecht, and Joseph Roth.
 
Published April 1, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. 272 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Roth’s plot focuses on the cavalry officer (Baron Taittinger) enlisted to satisfy the Shah’s voluptuary whims, and on the luckless woman (Mitzi Schnagel) who was the Baron’s mistress, who has borne his illegitimate son, and who is drawn into an elaborate ruse that imperils them both as well as ot...

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Publishers Weekly

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Seen this way, Roth's Vienna is, as the novelist Hermann Kesten put it, ""an exotic old-Austria, a kind of vanished, fairy-tale Wild East."" Things do get wild when the Shah, whose harem back at home is 365 wives strong, decides to sample ""the amorous arts of the Occident."" His unwitting encoun...

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