Philip Roth 1933-2018: Remembering the legacy and career of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
Meanwhile, a big loss for literature as American novelist Philip Roth passed away on Tuesday. The Pulitzer Prize novelist was 85 years old, and died in Manhattan of congestive heart failure. He was one of the pre-eminent 20th century novelists in the US, in a career that began in the 1950s, resulting in more than 30 novels and short-story collections. Qi Jie tells us more.
Philip Roth was born on March 19, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, the grandson of European Jews who migrated to the United States. He's a towering figure among 20th century novelists, whose five-decade career won him legions of awards around the world. His work explored what it meant to be American, male and Jewish.
JACQUES BERLINERBLAU EXPERT OF PHILIP ROTH "What's interesting about Philip Roth as a Jewish author is how, in the early part of his career he rejected the label, again and again. One of his most famous quotes is 'I'm not a Jewish American author, I'm an American author.' Strangely, as Roth grows older in the 80's and 90's in particular, he seems to embrace his Jewish identity."
Roth has won two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, three PEN/Faulkner awards and the Pulitzer -- but the Nobel prize evaded him. But as he once told the Times, "Every talent has its terms -- its nature, its scope, its force; also its term, a tenure, a life span. Not everyone can be fruitful forever."
JACQUES BERLINERBLAU EXPERT OF PHILIP ROTH "Philip Roth does not want you to figure him out. Philip Roth does not want to be read like an open book. And throughout his career he employed all sorts of literary gadgetry in an effort to get people not to figure out who Philip Roth was. One of his favorite tools was his alter ego by the name of Nathan Zuckerman."
Roth stopped writing after 2010 when his final novel "Nemesis" was published. In "Nemesis", his "Plot against America" was found renewed significance under the Donald Trump presidency.
JACQUES BERLINERBLAU EXPERT OF PHILIP ROTH "I think writing physically exhausted Philip Roth. And the way he did it, writing four to six hours every day, apparently standing up some of the time, for fifty years. I tend to believe him that by 2010 with the publication of Nemesis, his final novel, he decided he had nothing left in the tank."
Roth's philosophical work constantly blurred the distinction between reality and fiction, and explored the conflict between modern and traditional morals. And his death marks a great loss in the American literary scene. QIJIE, CGTN.