Among the owners of these landmark works is Josef Roth, an Austrian novelist (1894-1939), born in the city of Brody, which is now located in the Lviv province of Ukraine, and in the past was part of the Austrian Empire.
Perhaps the most prominent of “Roth’s” novels was “Radetsky’s Walk”, an epic novel he wrote in 1932 that chronicles the decline and fall of the Austrian Empire through the story of the Trotta family, and among those novels is “The Bust Of The Emperor”, according to The Atlantic magazine.
In the statue of the Emperor, “Ruth” tells how Count Morstein (the main character in the story) deals with the loss of his homeland; But the story, in fact, is about the loss of Omar’s way of life and order as well.
Roth demonstrates this loss with a small statue of the old Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, which Morstein keeps outside his country house in a village near Brody.
Once again from Prodi to Kharkiv (cities currently under Russian attack), the world is witnessing a tough test for the West against Russia.
The Atlantic notes, “Like Morstein, we must reckon with the change currently taking place, with many avoiding the idea that a modern political leader could invade a European country.”
The report explains that “many diplomats and officials refused to believe the warnings of American and British intelligence about the approaching attack of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” and continues: “For many in the West, it seems, wars of aggression are things that happen to poor countries at a distance.”
In the statue of the emperor, Morstein ends up living in Switzerland for a while after the collapse of the Austrian Empire, trying to forget the loss of his old world.
Danish writer and critic Morten Hoy Jensen says, “Morstein is embarrassed by his former naivety, when he begins to understand that it has been occupied by Europeans, and then anger escalates as he watches a group of Russians mockingly display what they claim is the crown of the monarchy (he means the crown of Joseph Fries, The Austrian Emperor), it was as if he understood, that the world was changing.
Jensen explains it with the current reality: “It seems to me that this is the source of our anger here in Europe and the United States, a man has taken us abroad to destroy our world, we are embarrassed by our naivety, the shame of our stupidity and arrogance.”
“No country in the West is safe from this shame,” he adds. “After 2016, America’s shame became clear, but the feeling is no less in Europe. In Britain, in France and in Germany.”
But across Europe the same story can be seen in an Italian politician in a Putin shirt, an Austrian politician dancing with the Russian leader at her wedding, and the Hungarian prime minister in Moscow, everyone knows how disgraceful this behavior is.
“Facing the reality of a new world, it is natural to respond with either anger or denial,” Jensen explains. “In the statue of the Emperor, Morstein decided that he would eventually choose to return from Switzerland to his village in Brody to live as if the Austrian Empire had never died.”
Morstein continues: “Morstein recovers the statue of the Emperor, which he kept safe in his basement, and puts it back on display outside his house, and begins to wear his old garb of Austrian knights, as anyone who once had power, the peasants who salute him are reviving a lost past, at last, He knows that the game is over, that it is time to bury the old world, so he summons the villagers and they bury together the statue of the emperor as if it were Franz Joseph himself.”
Jensen fears that the fate of the West will be the same as the fate of “Morstein”, stressing that “the old ways are no longer feasible to deal with Russia,” but the Danish critic believes that “the West is not on the verge of collapse like Austria-Hungary; but Western assumptions about power and superiority did not It is sufficient.”