Friday, September 16, 2011

I've Got A Crush On: Philip Roth

Philip Roth is one of my authors. I've been a passionate reader since I can remember being alive, and Philip Roth's deliciously novel-y smelling paperback Portnoy's Complaint was one of the first 'real live grown up' novels that I read. The audacious honesty absolutely blew my mind, impressed on to me that one of the most critical and crucial qualities of a serious novelist is the ability to detail the world in a way that resonates with resounding authenticity. Bullshit must be purposeful. The writing must be painfully true. Philip Roth's writing is intellectual, serious in tone and emotion, ( but not plodding ) even when describing the most perverted sexual act his tone remains- somehow he manages to import both the true life and feeling of the character while always keeping his authority as the conscious of the thing.

Now, the man who has reluctantly and reticently given interviews at only the request of his publishers has let himself become the subject of an hour long documentary. Although not yet released in America, I am thrilled with anticipation of watching and absorbing the words of one of my top ten favorite writers and one of the few American writers left alive with his depth of talent, influence and material.

If you haven't read any Roth, I highly recommend starting with Portnoy, or if you are scared off by novels that open ( and continue! ) with lots of masturbating, try The Human Stain or American Pastoral, both of which completely and totally absorbed my brain in that satisfying way only a great novel can.
Mwa said...

I love Roth, too. He makes me think it might be okay to write the dirty stuff down. :-)

Sigerson said...

He's perhaps our greatest living novelist, since Bellow died. The quality of his work remains undiminished, even in late career. For me, it was the Zuckerman books starting with THE GHOST WRITER.

Caroline said...

He sounds fascinating. Your book advice is always sterling, Maggie, so I will have to check him out. Is he British?

Hyacinth said...

I didn't know about the documentary...thanks for the heads up...can't wait to see it.

Roth's writing is pretty amazing...I've read The Human Stain and American Pastoral but strangely enough haven't read Portnoy's Complaint yet...will put it on my list :)

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