Skip to content

Joseph Roth in “The Radetzky March” on aristocratic principles

July 22, 2014


“The morals of the time were, as we know, severe. But exceptions were made, often with alacrity. This was one of a handful of aristocratic principles, according to which ordinary citizens were second-class people, but the occasional middle-class officer was made personal equerry to the Emperor; according to which Jews were barred from claiming high honours, but the odd Jew was ennobled, and hobnobbed with archdukes; according to which women were expected to be first chaste and then faithful, but this or that particular woman was afforded a cavalry officer’s licence to love. (All these principles we like to call hypocritical today, because we are so much more unyielding, implacable and deadly earnest.)”

Advertisements

From → Commonplace Book

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: