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Philip Roth

Geburtstag: 19. März 1933
Todesdatum: 22. Mai 2018
Andere Namen: فیلیپ راث

Philip Milton Roth [ɹɑːθ] war ein amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Seine Romane, Erzählungen und Essays wurden vielfach ausgezeichnet und brachten ihm den Ruf eines bedeutenden Romanciers der Gegenwart ein, der in der Öffentlichkeit viele Jahre als Kandidat für den Nobelpreis für Literatur gehandelt wurde.

Roths Werke sind häufig autobiografisch geprägt. Seine Romanfiguren teilen seine Herkunft aus einer jüdischen Familie der unteren Mittelschicht, seine Geburtsstadt Newark, die späteren Wohnsitze New York und eine Farm in Connecticut sowie die Erfahrungen seiner beiden Ehen. Nachdem bereits Roths Erstling Goodbye, Columbus im Jahr 1959 positive Resonanz bei der Kritik gefunden hatte, wurde sein Roman Portnoy’s Complaint zehn Jahre später zu einem Skandalerfolg. Ab den 1970er Jahren begleitete die Figur Nathan Zuckerman sein Werk durch zwei Trilogien und mehrere Einzelromane. Im Oktober 2012 zog er sich vom Schreiben zurück. Wikipedia

Photo: Nancy Crampton, ebay / Public domain

Zitate Philip Roth

„The truth about us is endless. As are the lies.“

—  Philip Roth, buch The Human Stain

The Human Stain (2000)
Kontext: There is truth and then again there is truth. For all that the world is full of people who go around believing they've got you or your neighbor figured out, there really is no bottom to what is not known. The truth about us is endless. As are the lies.

„Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.“

—  Philip Roth

Paris Review Interview (1986)
Kontext: You ask if I thought my fiction had changed anything in the culture and the answer is no. Sure, there's been some scandal, but people are scandalized all the time; it's a way of life for them. It doesn't mean a thing. If you ask if I want my fiction to change anything in the culture, the answer is still no. What I want is to possess my readers while they are reading my book — if I can, to possess them in ways that other writers don't. Then let them return, just as they were, to a world where everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt, and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise, to have set loose in them the consciousness that's otherwise conditioned and hemmed in by all that isn't fiction.

„We whipped our strangeness and newness into a froth that resembled love, and we dared not play too long with it, talk too much of it, or it would flatten and fizzle away“

—  Philip Roth, buch Goodbye, Columbus

Quelle: Goodbye, Columbus (1959), Chapter 2
Kontext: We came back to the chairs now and then and sang hesitant, clever, nervous, gentle dithyrambs about how we were beginning to feel towards one another. Actually we did not have the feelings we said we had until we spoke them-at least I didn't; to phrase them was to invent them and own them. We whipped our strangeness and newness into a froth that resembled love, and we dared not play too long with it, talk too much of it, or it would flatten and fizzle away. So we moved back and forth from chairs to water, from talk to silence, and considering my unshakable edginess with Brenda, and the high walls of ego that rose, buttresses and all, between her and her knowledge of herself, we managed pretty well.

„No one I know of has foreseen an America like the one we live in today.“

—  Philip Roth

Comparing Charles Lindbergh's leadership of an "America First" movement with that of Donald Trump, in responses to being asked about foreseeing an America such as now exists in his earlier writings, including his alternate-history novel The Plot Against America (2004) where Lindbergh defeated FDR for the presidency in 1940, as quoted in "No Longer Writing, Philip Roth Still Has Plenty to Say" by Charles Mcgrath, in The New York Times (16 January 2018) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/books/review/philip-roth-interview.html
Kontext: No one I know of has foreseen an America like the one we live in today. No one (except perhaps the acidic H. L. Mencken, who famously described American democracy as “the worship of jackals by jackasses”) could have imagined that the 21st-century catastrophe to befall the U. S. A., the most debasing of disasters, would appear not, say, in the terrifying guise of an Orwellian Big Brother but in the ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon. How naïve I was in 1960 to think that I was an American living in preposterous times! How quaint! But then what could I know in 1960 of 1963 or 1968 or 1974 or 2001 or 2016? … However prescient The Plot Against America might seem to you, there is surely one enormous difference between the political circumstances I invent there for the U. S. in 1940 and the political calamity that dismays us so today. It’s the difference in stature between a President Lindbergh and a President Trump. Charles Lindbergh, in life as in my novel, may have been a genuine racist and an anti-Semite and a white supremacist sympathetic to Fascism, but he was also — because of the extraordinary feat of his solo trans-Atlantic flight at the age of 25 — an authentic American hero 13 years before I have him winning the presidency. … Trump, by comparison, is a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac.

„Charles Lindbergh, in life as in my novel, may have been a genuine racist and an anti-Semite and a white supremacist sympathetic to Fascism, but he was also — because of the extraordinary feat of his solo trans-Atlantic flight at the age of 25 — an authentic American hero 13 years before I have him winning the presidency. … Trump, by comparison, is a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac.“

—  Philip Roth

Comparing Charles Lindbergh's leadership of an "America First" movement with that of Donald Trump, in responses to being asked about foreseeing an America such as now exists in his earlier writings, including his alternate-history novel The Plot Against America (2004) where Lindbergh defeated FDR for the presidency in 1940, as quoted in "No Longer Writing, Philip Roth Still Has Plenty to Say" by Charles Mcgrath, in The New York Times (16 January 2018) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/books/review/philip-roth-interview.html
Kontext: No one I know of has foreseen an America like the one we live in today. No one (except perhaps the acidic H. L. Mencken, who famously described American democracy as “the worship of jackals by jackasses”) could have imagined that the 21st-century catastrophe to befall the U. S. A., the most debasing of disasters, would appear not, say, in the terrifying guise of an Orwellian Big Brother but in the ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon. How naïve I was in 1960 to think that I was an American living in preposterous times! How quaint! But then what could I know in 1960 of 1963 or 1968 or 1974 or 2001 or 2016? … However prescient The Plot Against America might seem to you, there is surely one enormous difference between the political circumstances I invent there for the U. S. in 1940 and the political calamity that dismays us so today. It’s the difference in stature between a President Lindbergh and a President Trump. Charles Lindbergh, in life as in my novel, may have been a genuine racist and an anti-Semite and a white supremacist sympathetic to Fascism, but he was also — because of the extraordinary feat of his solo trans-Atlantic flight at the age of 25 — an authentic American hero 13 years before I have him winning the presidency. … Trump, by comparison, is a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac.

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