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Monday, April 14, 2008

Lethem Was Corrupted By The Breast

posted by on April 14 at 14:51 PM

WNYC has audio from last weekend’s Phillip Roth 75th Birthday Extravaganza. There’s a panel discussion featuring Jonathan Lethem, Charles D’Ambrosio, and Nathan Englander about Phillip Roth and his influence on their work, and there’s also two other chunks of audio, including Roth’s own speech. Presumably, Roth doesn’t talk about his own influence on himself, because he covered that pretty well in Portnoy’s Complaint.

Lethem talks about the book The Breast, which is a highly underrated Roth novella, if such a thing is even possible. It’s a riff on The Metamorphosis, about a chauvinistic man who wakes up one day to find himself transformed into a giant breast. I hadn’t thought of that book in a while, and I was glad to be reminded of it.

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Thanks for this link, Paul. I managed to catch an hour or so of this broadcast on a Friday road trip. Those were wonderful interviews.

Posted by orson | April 14, 2008 5:26 PM

Heh.... Behind every celebrated Lethem novel is a breast or two. I personally know the woman who revised Motherless Brooklyn for him (without credit, of course).

Posted by JME | April 15, 2008 1:39 AM

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