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Job: The Story of a Simple Manby Joseph Roth
Synopses & Reviews
The totality of Joseph Roth's work is no less than a tragedie humaine achieved in the techniques of modern fiction.--Nadine Gordimer
The faith of Mendel Singer, a teacher in Galicia, is tested at every turn. Eventually his worldview erodes along with his belief in God's omnipotence. Singer and his family move to America, where his eldest son joins the army and is killed in WWI. Then a miracle occurs, and Singer's faith is renewed. This moving and insightful modern fable is one of Joseph Roth's greatest works.
Born in 1894 in a small Galician town on the border of the Hapsburg Empire, Joseph Roth, author of more than fifteen novels, was one of the central figures of the emigre intellectual opposition to the Nazis. Roth is among the greatest Central European writers of the twentieth century.
A beautiful re-imagining of the Book of Job. One man's faith is tested, lost, and restored. A gem.
Job is the tale of Mendel Singer, a pious, destitute Eastern-European Jew and childrens Torah teacher whose faith is tested at every turn. His youngest son seems to be incurably disabled, one of his older sons joins the Russian Army, the other deserts to America, and his daughter is running around with a Cossack. When he flees with his wife and daughter, further blows of fate await him. In this modern fable based on the biblical story of Job, Mendel Singer witnesses the collapse of his world, experiences unbearable suffering and loss, and ultimately gives up hope and curses God, only to be saved by a miraculous reversal of fortune.
About the Author
Joseph Roth: Joseph Roth 1894-1937 was an Austrian novelist, best known for his family saga "Radetzky March" (1932), and for his novel of Jewish life, "Job" (1930). From 1930, Roth's fiction became less concerned with contemporary society, with which he had become increasingly disillusioned, and during this period his work frequently evoked a melancholic nostalgia for life in imperial Central Europe prior to 1914. He often portrayed the fate of homeless wanderers looking for a place to live, in particular Jews and former citizens of the old Austria-Hungary, who, with the downfall of the monarchy, had lost their homeland.
Ross Benjamin is a writer and translator living in Nyack, New York. His work has appeared in Bookforum, The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times, and other publications. His translations include Friedrich Hölderlin's Hyperion, Kevin Vennemann's Close to Jedenew and Thomas Pletzinger's Funeral for a Dog. He was a 2003-2004 Fulbright Scholar in Berlin. He won the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize for his rendering of Michael Maar's Speak, Nabokov.
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