It's a fictional streetscape we wander, here, a metropolis whose buildings, boulevards, and back alleys are in a constant state of flux. This is every place, and yet, no place at all - a city of dreams and a dream of a city.

Here, we explore the life and work of Ivan Illich and his circle of collaborators. There's no comprehensive index to the articles published, but we invite you to use the Search box, to the left, and to explore the Archive links that appear at the bottom of each page. Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Philip Roth x 2

Two small items featuring one of my very favorite authors:

Last June, the NYTimes wrote about someone having sampled Roth's voice to create a piece of hip-hop music. It's kinda silly, but fun to hear the man's voice and catch a glimpse of his sense of humor. I gather he is good at voices.

More recently, the NJ Star-Ledger caught up with Roth as he joined a bus tour of Newark, the city where he grew up and that serves as the setting for many of his stories. He had a grand time, surprising the others on the tour who, like him, but 10 years later than his 1950 date, had graduated from Weequahic High School. The Ledger's piece quotes from several of Roth's books, including this bit of lovingly remembered detail from Goodbye Columbus:

“The park ... was empty and shady and smelled of trees, night and dog leavings; and there was a faint damp smell too, indicating that the huge rhino of a water cleaner had passed by already, soaking and whisking the downtown streets.”

Thought this morning I oughta try to read all of his books. So far, for the record, I've read these: American Pastoral, Operation Shylock, Patrimony, The Humbling, Sabbath's Theater, The Plot Against America, I Married a Communist, and first of all, Portnoy's Complaint, which made me laugh out loud on the NYC subway. And that's without having tried too hard, over the course of 13 years.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States
Writer, photographer, music fan; father and husband living in northern Calif.