Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More On Everyman

In the New York Times, the reclusive Philip Roth speaks to Charles McGrath about his autumnal novella:

"This book came out of what was all around me, which was something I never expected — that my friends would die. If you're lucky, your grandparents will die when you're, say, in college. Mine died when I was a schoolboy. If you're lucky, your parents will live until you're somewhere in your 50's; if you're very lucky, into your 60's. You won't ever die, and your children, certainly, will never die before you. That's the deal, that's the contract. But in this contract nothing is written about your friends, so when they start dying, it's a gigantic shock."

"It should have dawned on me that Saul [Bellow] was going to die. He was 89, I think, when he died. Yet his death was very hard to accept, and I began to write this book the day after his burial. It's not about him — it has nothing to do with him — but I'd just come from a cemetery, and that got me going."


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