“The book educates you about the book” — NPR Profiles Philip Roth

In case you missed it: NPR’s All Things Considered spoke with Philip Roth about his new book Nemesis earlier this week. From the profile–

Nemesis is Roth’s 31st work, and at age 77, he still continues to take risks with his narrative style. In Nemesis, he doesn’t reveal the identity of the narrator until well into the novel.

“It just dawned on me as I was writing along,” Roth explains. “The book educates you about the book.”

Though Roth developed the novel’s narrative structure unexpectedly, he was motivated to do so by a novel that continues to inspire him: Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. In the novel’s first scene, the reader is introduced to Charles Bovary, Madame Bovary’s husband-to-be, as a schoolboy. The scene is narrated by the collective voice of his mocking classmates — a voice that then disappears.

“Well, I don’t have the guts for that,” Roth says, laughing. “That’s what made Flaubert Flaubert, you know. But indeed, it is from the charm of that opening of Madame Bovary that I took my lead.”

 

1 thought on ““The book educates you about the book” — NPR Profiles Philip Roth”

  1. […] Over the past few weeks, the world has been going on about Mr. Franzen’s latest novel, saying how great it is. Then comes along a great American novelist, Mr. Roth, who offers us a more fantastic book. I don’t know what people in America think of his fresh literary offering, but here in the UK, from what I have been hearing, “Nemesis” has had rave reviews. On “The Review Show” on BBC Two last Friday, two of the panellists giving their opinion that day, even said that it was better than “Freedom”. I think we are very lucky that two such splendid novels have been published at the same time. In case you missed it: NPR's All Things Considered spoke with Philip Roth about his new book Nemesis earlier this week. From the profile– Nemesis is Roth's 31st work, and at age 77, he still continues to take risks with his narrative style. In Nemesis, he doesn't reveal the identity of the narrator until well into the novel. "It just dawned on me as I was writing along," Roth explains. "The book educates you about the book." Though Roth develope … Read More […]

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