What We See: Joseph Roth and Our Berlin
“Who in all the world comes to Berlin voluntarily?” Joseph Roth’s question in THE WANDERING JEW (1927) asks us to consider the routes we take to end
“Who in all the world comes to Berlin voluntarily?” Joseph Roth’s question in THE WANDERING JEW (1927) asks us to consider the routes we take to end up in Berlin. His suggestion that there is something that drives people here is not only true of the refugee Jews from Eastern Europe then, but also characterizes the timeless situation of migrants and expats in Germany’s capital. Today Roth might be best known for his novels of the Habsburg Empire like RADETSKY MARCH (1932) and HOTEL SAVOY (1924). However, it was in Berlin where, chronicling the city’s diversity, with special attention to the marginalized, that he became a feuilletonist.
In this evening, WHAT WE SEE: JOSEPH ROTH AND OUR BERLIN draws on the legacy of Joseph Roth to engage the Berlin as known today. The evening will feature a discussion about Roth, his life, and his feuilletons as well as readings of writing inspired by him. There will be a free-flowing conversation between the moderator and two Berlin-based writers who have been deeply influenced by the writer: Paul Scraton, author of GHOSTS ON THE SHORE: TRAVELS ALONG GERMANY’S BALTIC COAST (2017) and the novella IN THE PINES (2021) and Julia Bosson, who is working on a novel about Roth’s life and journalism. Then, moving beyond the discussion of Roth’s life and work, the evening will end with readings of short pieces – or taking a page out of Roth’s book, feuilletons – about contemporary Berlin from writers across the city.
If you would like to read at the event, please email your submission of 700-1000 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 24. All readings will also be published as part of a special series on JOSEPH ROTH AND OUR BERLIN at Elsewhere Journal.