Pulled from the Oct 1, 2007 New Yorker‘s interview of Philip Roth by Hermione Lee – discussing his newest book, Exit Ghost.

“I agree with the Chekhov character who, when, in a crisis, he is reminded that ‘this too, shall pass,’ responds, ‘Nothing passes.'”

“The young people in the novel, whom Zuckerman, a touch enviously, calls ‘the not yets,’ in contrast to ‘the no longers’ of his generation.”

“Isn’t one’s pain quotient shocking enough without fictional amplification, without giving things an intensity that is ephemeral in life and sometimes even unseen? Not for some. For some very, very few that amplification. evolving uncertainly out of nothing, constitutes their only assurance, and the unlived, the surmise, fully drawn into print on paper, is the life whose meaning comes to matter most.”

Advertisements