Can there be said anything of Phillip Roth that has not already been said? As a public figure he predicts the end of his own genre. And yet, to read his work is to become intimate with the original thrust and power fiction has on the world of ideas. Existence, the subjective reflection, the booger rolled in the fingers and felt for the thousandth time, is still a vital act. Just because there are less readers does not mean it is unimportant. This is to succumb to the fallacy of near-history.
IF you should ever forget why writers such as Flaubert or Miller were of the utmost importance (so important in fact that the machinations of bureaucracy initiated an attack on both writers) then one must read Roth. For Roth examines existence not with the urge of a philosopher, but with the whim of an artist. Plato hated such people. But doesn’t that tell you something? Plato knew fiction’s power in capturing the essence of a dilemma.
Conflict is best understood en media res.
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