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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Roth’s Indignation

posted by on October 1 at 16:17 PM


As last week’s Stranger sets in the west, I’d like to call your attention to Sean Nelson’s lovely books lead, about Philip Roth. Nelson is one of the best readers of Roth I’ve ever met; he’s got an almost-instinctual understanding of how the man’s books work. Here’s a sentence:

One of the perils of being a close Roth reader is the often-irresistible assumption that he spends his life conjuring up ways to tantalize his audience by blurring the distinction between autobiography and fiction.

In a time when Nobel literature heads are saying America doesn’t produce word-class literature, it’s good to have such a great writer explain why Roth is one of the best in the world.

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I love his books.....true I wondered where fiction ended and autobiography began. "everyman" was my favorite because it treated the decay of the human body with such honesty.....great read...

Posted by Cindy | October 1, 2008 4:41 PM

@2 FTW!

And no, I don't feel like letting it go.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | October 1, 2008 5:11 PM

"Instinctual?" C'mon, Paul, are you TRYING to be pretentious? In a world where the smarty-pants Nobel nerds are criticizing Americans for our second-rate literature, at least stand up and own our vocabulary.

Americans, Mister Constant, say "instinctive." Pansy-assed, BBC-listenin' Brits say, "Instinctual."

Posted by TVDinner | October 1, 2008 6:22 PM

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