21 May 2011

Do you feel like Philip Roth is sitting on your face?

This is only too funny. While my own regard of the old man is going up and down depending on the book I am reading at the moment, he is definitely above a need for advocacy. Human Stain, to take one example, exonerates him from criticism forever.

But this is kinda exceptional:

Dismissing the Pulitzer prize-winning author, Callil said that "he goes on and on and on about the same subject in almost every single book. It's as though he's sitting on your face and you can't breathe".
Well, no advocacy, as I promised, just a bit of horseplay. That "sitting on your face" metaphor, while being a clumsy one (unless it's some kind of Aussie slang), seems to be a slip of the tongue (can I mention tongue in this regard, I wonder?).Whatever the reason, I am sure the old man is (will be) happy to hear it.

Proves that Ms Callil is an avid reader of Roth...


Noga said...

Whenever I read a comment this ridiculous made about any Jewish author (especially if he is American), I get that nagging feeling that there is something else going on. These things comes in sets, like cable TV.  so here is Callil (Khalil?) about poor Palestinians:

"CC: How much worse it was than I expected. The checkpoints, the police everywhere, the curtailment of basic human rights under which so many Palestinians labour. The inability of Palestinians to travel from one part of Palestine to another; most particularly the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem at once both threatening and tragic to see.
The normal activities Palestinians cannot undertake, the fact that some students have to travel through many checkpoints to reach their place of study, and that often they cannot get through the checkpoints, according to the whim of the police on patrol. The hours of travel they have to undergo to get a little education.
The poverty. The lack of water, and, from a visual point of view, the exceptional ugliness of the settlements… it is not clear to me still why that should be so.

The terrible wall. The destruction of Bethlehem. I could go on.
All of it was much, much worse than I anticipated."

But be sure not to miss the fig leaf:

"I had written a book about the persecution of the Jews of France during the Second World War, and their despatch from France to the Nazi death camps. As I researched and wrote this book, over many years, I became increasingly disturbed by what the State of Israel (I do not consider this state to be synonymous with Jewish people) was said to be doing to occupied Palestine. There were historical similarities which disturbed me."

Somehow, I don't know, I get that gnawing suspicion that it all hangs together.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I didn't see any political angle in the whole scene, but now that you tell the story, I guess there is one. Not only political, of course.

And I noticed her going on about "North America" getting too many prizes, for sure. Decided to skip it for some good clean fun ;)

Dick Stanley said...

I'll stick with the tongue image, thanks. Priceless.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

OK, fine with me.