The novel is dead, so said Philip Roth well before my sperm hit the fan and became the fertilized egg.
Did he say this to globalize anxiety before there was a global economy?
Some other writer — whose name I forgot to scratch down on my literary utensil — has said this about Roth’s flagrante delicto: “The death of the novel’s been proclaimed my whole life. I guess I feel that, if it’s true, then what’s the point of worrying about it? And if it isn’t true, then go back to work.”
What mystical granting has allowed Roth to be the stone-that-skips-the-nomenclature-wave and speak this line as if to catch all us writers in human bondage?
Does he dream of himself as the monadic literary atom?
And what does it say for the rest of us poor saps who must become a modicum of hissy fits, demanding that our own efforts whiz not in a vacuum, but beg to be allowed their own atrocious miracle.
Thank you Mr. Roth for allowing me to drift aimlessly in the void of your unproblematic sageness.