The Hotel Years
By Joseph Roth
Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann
Michael Hofmann’s gorgeous, precise, and penetrating translation of the sixty-four feuilletons by Joseph Roth that make up The Hotel Years—“something topical, something lasting, something burning, something whimsical,” as Hofmann describes the selection in his brilliant introduction—represents the pinnacle of the translator’s art. In this, his fourteenth Roth translation, Hofmann brings together Roth’s highly intelligent and intensely personal “noticings” about train travel, spring, oil wells, and balconies, about Germany, the USSR, Albania, the Dual Monarchy, the land of his birth, and much more. Joseph Brodsky once said that there is a poem on every page of Roth’s writing. Hofmann has vividly recreated each of these poems.