Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author

Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author

Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author

Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author

Synopsis

Of all contemporary American writers, Philip Roth is perhaps the most ambitious, yet given his place in American letters, he is one of the most underrepresented in terms of critical attention. Unlike many aging novelists, whose production and creative mastery wane over time, Roth has demonstrated a unique ability not only to sustain his literary output, but also to surpass the scope and talent evident in his previous writings. He has been awarded innumerable literary honors, and in the 1990s alone he won every major American book award. This long-overdue collection of essays covers Roth's entire output and links themes across works, highlighting those thoughts and ideas that recur frequently.

Excerpt

When Philip Roth told David Remnick in 2000, that the happiest time he had ever had with his work was when he was writing Sabbath's Theater, he explained: "Because I felt free. I feel like I am in charge now." What he meant, as he put it in another 2000 interview, was that his narrative strategy in the 1990s "freed up something that had never been freed up in my work before. "That is" the joining of the public and the private …. so saturated by history, the private drama, that it's determined by history." But what occurred to me was the question: Why had it taken Roth so long to feel free? Saul Bellow, for example, felt free quite early in his career, with the writing of The Adventures of Augie March. It is the unraveling of this story, the uncovering of this question that Derek Parker Royal's Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author aims for.

Framed by a superb short introduction, including this arresting sentence-—"Unlike many aging novelists, whose productive qualities wane over time, Roth has demonstrated a unique ability, not only to sustain his literary output, but even surpass the scope and talent inherent in his previous writings"—we are presented with a book of seventeen original essays devoted to the entire scope of Roth's writings, from Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories, to his very recent The Plot Against America, and even a chapter on Roth's essays.

For the most part arranged chronologically, some of the chapters deal with a single book, and some with more than one. Uniformly, though, they . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.