Philip Roth Is Kinda Smart
I think Philip Roth is like the Gandalf of the literary community.
Forget about Updike. Forget about Atwood. Forget about “young” upstarts like Franzen.
Philip Roth is a wisdom machine. He spits out wisdom bombs like Rick Perry spits out stupidity. If Philip Roth had been Obi Wan Kanobi, Annakin Skywalker would’ve never went to the dark side. In the words of Antoine from that famous YouTube video, “now go and tell that, homeboy.”
So who is this Philip Roth of whom I glowingly speak?
He’s the author of American Pastoral, The Human Stain, and a crapload of other novels. He apparently thinks a lot. Reading Roth should get you some type of modern philosophy credit toward an undergrad degree.
At times, his writing can get a little long-winded. But, despite the dry spots, I love how Roth seems to be honed in on the wacky nature of human beings. American Pastoral, with all its insight into the “mask” of Swede Levov, is brutally honest.
You’ve got to respect that. At least I do.
I like Roth. He seems a little grumpy, but that just means he’s an author. I still like him, even though I might disagree with him on some things–mainly his anti-God viewpoint. But, don’t worry, I won’t open that can of worms. He’s just an extremely smart guy.
See what you think. This interview with Roth was for CBS News, not long after he released Nemisis. The video gives a nice glimpse into the life, background, and views of an author who is considered by some as the greatest living American novelist.
Any Roth fans in the house?