Last at least ten years a considerable number of people in the world every autumn was waiting for news about the award of the Nobel prize for literature with one purpose: to find out whether it has finally Philip Roth again or not. The writer died, never becoming nobleton, although he deserves this award as few others. But if it turned out that he would have it received, with high probability in the premium formulation would be about life, love and death, because few whose texts had joviality, pagan sexuality, and bodily fear before leaving, as the great American novels: “the Dying animal,” “American pastoral,” “the Human brand”, “Ghost out” and others.
Not to say that Philip Roth was overlooked and awards. He was a winner of the Pulitzer prize and the International man Booker prize. In his native Newark, one of the town squares named in his honor. In 2010, American President Barack Obama handed writer the National Humanities medal of the United States, which is awarded for special contribution to the Humanities, and the Minister of foreign Affairs of France Laurent Fabius in 2013, awarded him the Legion of honor. And yet there is a feeling that all these decades in the same world with us really lived the great writer, whose novels (he wrote a total of about three dozen, but at least five brilliant) undervalued by the experts and the public. However, American critics put it on par with such classics as Saul bellow and John Updike.
And another feeling — what social themes (with which my Mouth loved to play that is already there), some have gone by the wayside the main thing he wrote about life as overcoming obstacles and love as possible for a short time not to think about impending death.
Philip Roth and the Jews
When it comes to Philip Roth, the first theme, which usually grabs talking about it is Jewishness. It is presented as an American writer of Jewish origin, in every book anyway to talk on the subject of anti-Semitism. That’s right — and wrong.
Indeed, the future writer was born March 19, 1933, in the Jewish quarter of Newark, new Jersey to immigrant parents from Galicia. In 1954 he graduated from Bucknell University. According to his confession, in the family of origin was made to have kosher food, and in the right age the boy was a bar mitzvah. But his domestic, and religious Jews over. In an interview, he stressed that his parents lived the lives of ordinary Americans, and his national identity is purely cultural properties: Jewish culture is important to him and the road because it is his roots, and he’s not ready to give them up. As for the religious affiliation — he is a staunch atheist.
Indeed, many of the Roman Rota anyway there is the theme of Jewry, but about Nathan Zuckerman, the alter ego of the author, written a whole cycle. But this cycle is not just about the Jews but about Jews in America of the twentieth century, the country class is quite intricate, in which there was not only a tiny quota to the training of Jews in prestigious universities, but also exactly the same restrictions for Catholics, not to mention blacks. Therefore, the argument of Roth about what it’s like to be a Jew in America, equally relate to all cultural, national and religious other, other people — not like the majority.
in General it seems to have been always ready to make fun of everything that resisted and begged for a language that is no less caustically ironic on the subject of how flipped class system in the late twentieth century, and to guarantee to get into Harvard, it’s good to be a poor African American with slaves as ancestors.
Philip Roth and American politics
Wicked social satire on the subject structure of the American (not only American — Israeli too) society and life, presidential elections and the behaviour of politicians, the motive of all of the novels Roth. Some brighter, some background.
the plot of the affair bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky fully revealed in the novel “the Human brand”. For the author it is an occasion to reflect on the hypocrisy, false modesty and tiresome moralizing. By the way, political correctness he also believed social disease that should be treated.
“My husband is a Communist” is largely based on their own experience Company. He told me that in his youth was very passionate about politics, and some of his cousins were ardent Communists.
“the Prague Orgy” is about totalitarianism. “The plot against America” — the Nazism. “Ghost out” — on the re-election George Bush and the related tragedy of American liberal intellectuals.
Love and death in Philip Roth
Eros (sometimes on the verge of physiology and even pornography) in Rota, in all the novels is adjacent to the Thanatos. His characters think about death, fear death, get sick, get old, are on the verge of dying. And quite shamelessly, pulevski love, have sex, dream about it. Most clearly this is expressed in two books — “the Dying animal” and “Ghost out”. Curiously, their stories would mirror each other: in the first of the pair is gradually dying young woman, and the second elderly lover.
In “the Dying animal” a middle-aged Professor Lovelace the salt of life is to sleep with a student (the novel came out in 2001 and the horror that I would say right now about this in social networks under the hashtag #metoo). And at some point falls in love. It is difficult to define the feeling which he experiences, but he suddenly gets jealous mistress to the young men. And yet his obsession becomes her Breasts, and he goes crazy with pleasure when licking her genitals during menstruation. Him to bleed out would be a metaphor for life — closer to the end of the story, the girl detects cancer, it will take difficult, painful, incapacitating her body with surgical intervention.
In the novel “the Ghost goes” the situation is inverted: the hero, 71-year-old writer, recovered after surgery to remove tumors of the prostate and suffering from urinary incontinence, accidentally sees a newspaper ad that a young couple wants a year to exchange their city apartment to a country house. He met with the couple, Jamie and Billie to share with them the shelter, and falls in love with a 30-year-old beauty Jamie to fall in love just with the old hard and lonely.
He imagines how she will live surrounded by his things to sleep in his bed. And spends my literary fervor in the imaginary Frank conversations that they could have, but that will not happen never, because time is the main killer of love have played against them.
“I Remember one of those moments when I once again thought about death, I was 45 years old. I remember walking from home to the office in Connecticut and told myself: “don’t let this thought to terrorize you. Think about it, when you’re 70 years old.” I knew that before I turn 46, then 47 years — a whole barrel of days. Now, when the barrel is not so full and have seen the bottom, because I’m 77 years, death still brings me to a screeching halt,” — said in the Mouth interview.
And that is the feeling that the hourglass is inverted and the sand on the outcome — the main theme of Philip Roth, which he nizet everything else. And oddly enough, it’s sadness, longing, despair, a sense of the transience of time and looking around at the grave give life novel heroes such sharpness that even now when I became the author ultimately triumphs over death.