EppsNet Archive: Philip Roth

To Make the Accusation is to Prove It. To Hear the Allegation is to Believe It.

Simply to make the accusation is to prove it. To hear the allegation is to believe it. No motive for the perpetrator is necessary, no logic or rationale is required. Only a label is required. The label is the motive. The label is the evidence. The label is the logic. Why did Coleman Silk do this? Because he is an x, because he is a y, because he is both. First a racist and now a misogynist. It is too late in the century to call him a Communist, though that is the way it used to be done. . . . That explains everything. — Philip Roth, The Human Stain Read more →

You Think I’m Inept?

“You think I’m inept? You think I’m inadequate? If I’m inadequate, where are you going to get people who are adequate . . . if I’m . . . do you understand what I’m saying? What am I supposed to be? What are other people if I am inadequate?” — Philip Roth, American Pastoral Read more →

Greatest Living American Authors

With the recent deaths of Philip Roth and Tom Wolfe, I’ve moved a couple more notches up the list of greatest living American authors. Why not celebrate by picking up a copy of my book? Read more →

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

The final question assigned to the class was “What is life?” Merry’s answer was something her father and mother chuckled over together that night. According to Merry, while the other students labored busily away with their phony deep thoughts, she — after an hour of thinking at her desk — wrote a single, unplatitudinous declarative sentence: “Life is just a short period of time in which you are alive.” “You know,” said the Swede, “it’s smarter then it sounds. She’s a kid — how has she figured out that life is short? She is somethin’, our precocious daughter. This girl is going to Harvard.” But once again the teacher didn’t agree, and she wrote beside Merry’s answer, “Is that all?” Yes, the Swede thought now, that is all. Thank God, that is all; even that is unendurable. — American Pastoral RIP Philip Roth Read more →

My Idea of a Good Time

Raising intelligent, loving, sturdy children! Protecting some good woman! Dignity! Health! Love! Industry! Intelligence! Trust! Decency! High Spirits! Compassion! What the hell do I care about sensational sex? — Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint Read more →

Books Etc.

Thanks to the annual Super Bowl Sunday Buy One Get One Free sale at Books Etc. in Laguna Hills, the works of Bellow, Borges, Bukowski, Brautigan, Cheever, Eco, Grace Paley, Dennis Potter, Pynchon, Robbe-Grillet, Philip Roth and Tom Wolfe have found their way onto my bookshelf for a capital outlay of only 32 dollars American. Read more →

Microblog: 2009-04-10

RT @TinaFey: It’s so nice out. It almost makes me want to go for a walk. Almost. # Philip Roth: “The tragedy of the man not set up for tragedy — that is every man’s tragedy.” # Read more →

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

But in Old Rimrock, New Jersey, in 1995, when the Ivan Ilyches come trooping back to lunch at the clubhouse after their morning round of golf and start to crow, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” they may be a lot closer to the truth than Leo Tolstoy ever was.   The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that — well, lucky you.   He had learned the worst lesson life can teach — that it makes no sense. And when that happens the… Read more →