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by Philip Roth
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One thing that makes Roth Unbound interesting is that Pierpont was able to interview Roth in the first years of his retirement. You can feel Roth’s reflective, relaxed state of mind as he looks back on his career, cataloging his regrets and triumphs.
"A friend of mine once said to me, why are so many of the characters in your novels so sort of wimpy and passive? ...I suppose it’s that I’m less interested in the typical hero who goes out and does things. My heroes don’t do things. Sometimes things are done to them."
People are animals. The flesh is weak. Beware of ideology. And New Jersey is beautiful.
With its gallons of bodily fluids and its frankness about the attendant pneumatics, Sabbath's Theater makes Nicholson Baker's "manstarch" look like marzipan, and The Rosy Crucifixion look like Make Way for Ducklings.
We were called up, one after another, and allotted two minutes each. They sat in front of us, mostly late-middle aged, mostly female, presumably Jewish, all of them with reading glasses and notebooks—the scariest possible bar mitzvah crowd, deciding whom to invite to speak to their particular audiences, in San Diego or Palm Springs or Shaker Heights.