Goodbye Philip Roth and Thank You!!

I heard the sad news today that Philip Roth has died (I don’t do euphemisms like ‘passed away’). That is a great shame. The world is all the poorer. He was a great writer and illuminator of the human condition. He wrote with great passion and vitality and shone a light on to the lives of us poor mortals with all our faults, trials and tribulations.

I already miss him.

I came to Philip Roth late in life. I tried reading him as a young man and could not get into him at all. In later years, with a bit more experience under my belt and a slower pace in which to appreciate the ideas, I tried again and loved it. I have recently devoured fabulous books such as The American Pastoral, The Human Stain, Portnoy’s Complaint, and the Plot Against America. I found that they were truly exhilarating.

Sitting at my side are two more of his books that I have recently purchased and are in line to devour – Sabbath’s Theatre and I Married a Communist. I shall be reading them now with a sadness for suddenly Philip Roth’s work has become finite. There are a limited number and no more will ever be added. He has written his last full stop.

Fortunately Philip had a long life, dying at 85, and wrote a lot so I have much to look forward to.

The sad thing is that, like many of my favourite writers whose every book I have read and reread, that extensive series will come to an end. One day I will have read them all.

The great thing is that his output was large and I still have many treats in store to enjoy, wonder at and be stimulated by.

Thank you Philip Roth. I wish the whole world was full of people like you!

8 thoughts on “Goodbye Philip Roth and Thank You!!

  1. I feel the loss in some very personal way. Of all his books I liked “Goodbye Columbus” the best. It was about a summer romance, and those are volatile, brittle, and oh-so-sweet. Since I’m not Jewish, I guess, I didn’t appreciate until years later what a big deal this story was. It was published in 1959, and the young Jewish adults of that time were maybe just two generations removed from Grandpa in the old country who never knew a word of English. The story was never as well known as “Portnoy’s Complaint'” also a fine novel, but it spoke to me in a way I never really understood. The world will be poorer with him not in it, even for people who never heard of him. Rest in peace, Philip. A lot of people loved you.

    1. Thank you for that. I have still to read Goodbye Columbus. I’m looking forward to that treat. We should always mourn the death of a great writer. He was one of the best.

    1. I think his books might have been considered too radical for schools Cheryl. I’ve loved the books of his that I’ve read. I think he was a great writer.
      I’m not sure there is a door there Cheryl.

  2. This is so sad to hear. Philip Roth was such an amazing writer and although I’ve only read two of his books so far I thoroughly enjoyed them and plan to read the rest of his books.

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