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Monday, August 14, 2006

Philip Roth for Nobel

To my mind no living writer deserves the Nobel Prize for literature more than the great American Philip Roth, Born in New Jersey in 1933, Roth made his name with the story collection "Goodbye, Columbus" in 1960 before achieving international stardom with the shocking, bitterly funny "Portnoy's Complaint"- one of my favourite books, an exploration of the Jewish consciousness, sexual repression and perversion, as well the Oedipal complex.

Roth went on to write several brilliant books in the 1970s and 1980s, especially his semi-autobiographical sequence about his alter ego, the Jewish novelist Nathan Zuckerman. Amazingly enough, Roth has entered the golden period of his writing life only after the age of sixty, in the 1990s. With "Patrimony", "Operation Shylock", "Sabbath's Theater", "American Pastoral", "I Married A Communist", "The Human Stain" (the last three narrated by Zuckerman but with him as witness rather than protagonist), "The Plot Against America" and now "Everyman", Roth has written an uninterrupted sequence of brilliant books, abandoning the wild humour of his youth for more measured and meditative but no less powerful works, It is clear from recent awardees that having written three excellent books is enough qualification for a Nobel, By this mark, Roth deserves several Nobels- let's hope they give it to him while he's still alive (he's 73 now). Luckily, only Saul Bellow and Toni Morrison are Americans to get it in recent decades, and thus Roth has a good chance with the region-conscious comittee.


Blogger a.v.koshy said...

Though Roth is a powerful nominee I'm rooting for Bob Dylan even as I admit my ignorance. Has he been nominated this time around at all?

12:01 PM  
Blogger theworldsbiggestgrimmettfan said...

Yes Dylan is someone who definitely deserves it, one of the most powerful writers of the last fifty years.

It's a conversation I have often with my dad and we agree that the problem is nominating him- he certainly ought to get it.

7:33 AM  

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