Roth was a great lover of music
Old-timely big band show times that evoked memories in living rooms across white America
Provoking melancholia for what was assumed lost.
He was a master of writing technicalities
Knew the stitchings in a pair of men's brown leather driving gloves
Like they were poetic metre
Knew the nervy velocity attended to the beating of a heart through a stethoscope .
He wrote more novels that can be read in most lifetimes
As he had five different versions of himself to think through.
He wrote half a novel in the voice of an actual ex- lover
He was not particularly good at writing women.
He was unsurprisingly/surprisingly good at writing about the realities of race.
He often cared little for reality
but could tautly pierce at the authenticity to be found
in "social realism."
He wrote standing up
Cried that novel was dead when really he was dying
He was both acutely aware and ignorant of this
He will be buried outside of Newark, presumably.
His career trajectory is unique in American letters in that it crystallized the vogue for American letters, ****** up the body, peaked and troughs with death, surveyed the end of American Innocence over four decades and closed at a summer camp.
His themes, in that order : Heartache, ***, Motherlove, Therapy, Body Horror, Satire, Egomania, , father hunger, Death, the state of the nation, regret, race, life inside the academy,fascist media darlings, liberal terrorists destroying their family narratives,Death again, old ***, absolute suicide in words, adolescence.
Philip Roth (1933-2018)