Roth unbound a writer and his books
Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books by Claudia Roth Pierpont | Quarterly ConversationIs this on cue? Could Nadel? Did maestro Roth himself raise the baton and point to the first violinist, and set them all fiddling? Well, sort of. That an American writer should have multiple biographies is hardly exceptional. Allen Ginsberg had how many?
19. Philip Roth, The Human Stain
American anti-Semitism, which was running high throughout the s, steadily increased after the onset of war. During the entire period, polls showed, well over a third of the populace stood ready to back discriminatory laws. Nor was this a mere offshoot of the general xenophobia spawned by isolationism. Every synagogue in Washington Heights was desecrated and some were smeared with swastikas ; in Boston, beatings, wreckings and defilements had become near-daily occurrences by The disgraceful fever, which ruled out all but a trickle of immigration and so cost countless lives, reached its historic apogee in — by which time the Holocaust was more or less complete. And what of the media? We may venture to say that such reticence is slightly surprising, given that the historiography of the events outlined above now runs to many tens of thousands of volumes.
As if to commemorate that event, Claudia Roth Pierpont—no relation, but a good friend and a superb writer—has produced this brilliant literary biography, Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books. Roth, as anyone who has met him can tell you, is an amazingly charming man. One can sense this on every page of Roth Unbound. Scholars have put him in the category of confessional novelists. But Roth was also hiding his true self, and his elaborate variations on the authorial voice of the narrator became his post-modern literary signature.
They met for coffee, became friends, and Roth made her one of the privileged few to whom he shows new work before publication, who are expected to tell him, in effect, what his…. Get The International Pack for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access. Already a member? Log in. Already a subscriber or registered access user?
Kafka, in his lifetime, published two books; Frank, in hers, published none; Roth debuted with Goodbye, Columbus in and announced his retirement 25 novels later with Nemesis in Pierpont assures us that though she is not related to Roth, she has produced this study of his fiction with his collaboration.
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Philip Roth must have been plagued more than any other writer with this dumbest of demands. For he writes out of his native Newark, sends his characters to his own high school, makes novelists his narrators, and calls one of his characters Philip Roth. After his second wife, the actress Claire Bloom, wrote a tell-all memoir of their marriage, he wrote an answering novel, in which an actress writes a memoir of her failed marriage to a radio star. Sooner or later there will be a biography. Pierpont met Roth in A couple of years later she received a letter from him responding to a New Yorker article she had written.