Friday, 2 July 2010

Philip Roth - Zuckerman Bound

4 books about writing and the relationship of the writer to his subjects: from exploitation, love, stealing up to himself.

“You are a bastard. (…) To you everything is disposable. Everything is exposable. (…) To you it’s all fun and games. But that isn’t the way it is for the rest of us.” (Roth, 1979, p.257).

The books are about how people react to Zuckerman writing about them and finding their lives made public, how they remove themselves from him in order to avoid being written about.

This way he loses his subject and is thrown onto himself – which makes him ill.

Yet, it turns out, the trouble is less the lack of any subject, but the constant search for the right one, and the constant doubt whether it is good enough:

“The burden isn’t thateverything has to be a book. It’s that everything can be a book”.

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