Thursday, April 3, 2014

Roth?

Philip Roth

Ages ago, I saw a short art video where the artist had made some kind of docu on herself. The video began along the lines of "XX had a feeling that since birth, she lagged behind when it came to her cultural intake. She wasn't up to speed with the classics, the movies etc".

Those were not the exact words, but I can relate so much.

For instance, have never read Philip Roth. Have you? What do you recommend? l like to laugh.
Am currently reading an anthology on the habits of creative people. If I was doing scientific research on the book, my finding would be: It must be the coffee. No other food, drink or remedy is mentioned as often (though wine comes is a close second).  Other weird thing in this book: children are rarely mentioned and spouses are people you see around 8 pm for dinner, useful primarily for when you want to have a cocktail with someone slightly more human than your typewriter.

Roth is covered in the book. He seems to be relieved to live on his own so that he can write wherever he pleases (he didn't seem to care too much even for the 8pm arrangement).

He talks like this about his creativity:

"My schedule is absolutely my own. Usually, I write all day, but if I want to go back to the studio in the evening, after dinner, I don't have to sit in the living room because someone else has been alone all day. I don't have to sit there and be entertaining or amusing. I go back out and I work for two or three more hours. If I wake up at two in the morning--this happens rarely, but it sometimes happens--and something has dawned on me, I turn the light on and I write in the bedroom. I have these little yellow things all over the place. I read till all hours if I want to. If I get up at five and I can't sleep and I want to work, I go out and I go to work. So I work, I'm on call. I'm like a doctor and it's an emergency room. And I'm the emergency."

I, Emi, would like to repeat that:
I'm like a doctor and it's an emergency room. And I'm the emergency.

Is he as funny in his books?

Hopeful wishes
-e

4 comments:

  1. Read Portnoy's at 15 and have read everything from Roth since then. He truly is one of the great, matured over the years like almost no other writer.Relive your puberty with Portnoy's is my recommendation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Känner igen mig totalt! Började läsa American Pastoral för nån vecka sen just därför att det kändes som en brist att inte ha läst Roth.
    Välkonstruerad, bra på alla sätt. Stor författare, absolut. Men den griper inte tag i mig. Har en 20, 30 sidor kvar, får se om slutet gör att den lyfter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love him, he's a genius, but wouldn't read him for the laughs.

    My gateway Roth was Operation Shylock. I love all the Zuckerman novels and The Human Stain.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with N--not funny ha ha, for sure.

    ReplyDelete

I welcome any comment, so happy to hear from you.