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Thursday, 24 May 2018

RIP Philip Roth (1933-2018)

Philip Roth was one of the first writers who made me want to write myself. I read Goodbye, Columbus in my early teens, around the time of my "Anthony Marks period", and it remains one of my favourite books. I hoped Roth would produce more of the same, but for me he didn't. He said in 1981, “My autobiography would consist almost entirely of chapters about me sitting alone in a room looking at a typewriter. The uneventfulness … would make Beckett’s The Unnamable read like Dickens.” Little did I know, even back then, that the typewriter he looked at was the same model I often contemplated, an Olivetti Lettera 32.
Philip Milton Roth died on Tuesday at a Manhattan hospital of congestive heart failure, aged 85. He was born on March 19, 1933, in Newark, New Jersey.
Roth's first gained fame with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, and he went on to be one of the most awarded American writers of his generation.

1 comment:

Richard P said...

These are fine photos!
I am not sure Roth was honest in his comments about the dullness of his biography. He certainly had a lot of love affairs. (Then again, I tried a recent fictionalized version of one of the affairs from the woman's point of view, Lisa Halliday's "Asymmetry," and found it awfully dull — I have no idea why it garnered a lot of critical praise.)