Wednesday, May 10, 2006

From the land of WTF:
News Flash - NPR discovers people die, and writers are here to explore that notion in fiction so we can be made aware of death.

Terry Gross interviewing American author Philip Roth on NPR's Fresh Air (audio link here):

TG:To get into the subject that you're writing about I'd imagine you'd have to focus your thoughts alot on mortality, on death, on, um, the slow diminishment of the body over time, on pain, illness. I mean, that's what you're writing about, you had to be thinking about it.

PR: Well, sure, but it's all around one, isn't it?

TG: Yeah.

PR: You see it every day and people who aren't writers have other tasks and their task is not necessarily to look at that. Um, this is no judgment on the way people go about their lives, but it's really the task of the writer to look at this stuff that is not so pretty.


mikster said...

WTF is right.

phlegmfatale said...

mike - After all, only east coast intellectuals reflect on life and have a deep understanding of the process. The rest of us are too wrapped up in our low-brow existence to smell the coffee.

Arrogant, condescending bastard.

Oh, and I LOATHED his last book.

I will say he was in other respects likable in the interview, but this one line just jumped out at me. Infuriating.

June Cleaver's Revenge said...


Wow, so people die? How come I never knew till now? Guess it's not my task to be as brilliant and observant as Mr. Roth.

People die. Okay, I better write that down. People die. Check. Got it. Thanks, Phil.

Attila the Mom said...

Doh! LOL

Barbara Bruederlin said...

He does elevate the writer to a godlike status, doesn't he? In actual fact, everybody needs to "look at this stuff that is not so pretty" - that's the human condition.

phlegmfatale said...

june c's r - yeah - people go decrepit and die. Whodathunkit?

attila t m - 10-4, good buddy.

barbara - yeah, it's so smug I wanted to slap him. Very true - and whether we want to look at it or not, we all are forced to a more intimate acquaintance with our own mortality. Creaking joints, new pains in body parts we previously didn't know existed. It sucks.

Anonymous said...

Newsflash- People die.

It reminds me of a (not as funny but) recent news cast where the news lady said "Well, tomorrows' another day" THANKS!

Charlie said...

Unless I missed something, Roth's The Plot Against America was downright stupid. Then again, I am not an intellectual, either.

Roth's major subject has always been Jewish angst over masturbation. He should stick to it.

Hah. A pun.

phlegmfatale said...

jacquie - indeed! It never ends, does it?

admiral pooper - Well, either TPAA stinks on ice, or I mised it too. Yeah, let him absue himself rather than us. Yuck.

Zelda said...

This creeps me out on many levels. People deteriorate and die. The living should live. I'm not sure how much more this needs to be looked into.

And I don't know why he would veer off into mortality if his main subject is Jewish angst over masturbation. That is fertile ground if ever there was.

phlegmfatale said...

I dunno why he switched gears, Zelda - maybe he felt he'd spilled enough seed on that subject. I just found the arrogance astonishing.