Once upon a time in the District of Zlotogrod there lived an Inspector of Weights and Measures whose name was Anselm Eibenschütz.
At the insistence of his wife, Eibenschütz leaves his job as an artilleryman in the Austro-Hungarian army for a civilian job as the Inspector of Weights and Measures. Here, in a remote territory near the Russian border, he finds his principles and the rectitude he brings to his trade duties are at odds with a host of smugglers, profiteers and petty crooks. In a frontier town where the law is seen to interfere with the lives of ordinary people, Eibenschütz discovers that his integrity is not as incorruptible as he at first imagined. Spending more and more hours at the tavern, he is drawn hopelessly to a beautiful gypsy woman, Euphemia. Meanwhile his enemy, Jadlowker, an unprincipled profiteer, continues to make the tavern a beacon for local smuggling activity . . . A fable about the disintegration of a good man, Weights and Measures was the third Roth novel to be translated into English. It was one of the the last he wrote, as he drank himself to death in unhappy exile in France.
Translated from the German by David Le Vay
‘This small novel is a masterpiece.’ — Angela Huth, Listener
‘Weights and Measures gave me the purest reading pleasure . . . A haunting little book, touched by genius.’ — Robert Nye, Guardian
‘An absorbing fable, dark, beautifully written and with a physical immediacy in the prose . . . I want to read more.’ — New Statesman
‘Written with the melancholy wit and grace of Gogol . . . passages of electrifying beauty.’ — The Times
JOSEPH ROTH was born in Brody, Galicia – then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire now in Ukraine – in 1894. He served in the Austrian army between 1916 and 1918. After the war he moved to Vienna and worked for newspapers in Austria and Germany. He established a reputation for himself as a brilliant and insightful journalist. As early as 1923 he warned against the threat of Nazism, travelling extensively not only across Austria and Germany but all over Eastern Europe and Russia where he reported on the Russian revolution. In 1933, with his warnings about Fascism unheeded, he left Germany in disgust and moved to Paris where depression and alcoholism overcame him. He drank himself into an early grave in 1939.
|Date Published||1st August 2002|
Weights And Measures
- Product Code: Paperback
- Author: Joseph Roth