Philip Roth announces his retirement(Read article summary)
Philip Roth says his novel 'Nemesis,' which was released in 2010, was his last book.
Say it ain‚Äôt so!
The 78-year-old novelist announced his retirement quietly, in an interview with a French magazine that does not appear to have been reported in the US.
‚ÄúTo tell you the truth, I‚Äôm done,‚ÄĚ Roth told Les Inrocks last month. ‚Äú‚ÄôNemesis‚Äô will be my last book.‚ÄĚ
(The actual interview was published in French and quoted Roth‚Äôs words as ‚ÄúPour tout vous avouer, j‚Äôen ai fini. N√©m√©sis sera mon dernier livre.‚ÄĚ)
Salon contacted Roth‚Äôs American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, to confirm his retirement. ‚ÄúHe said it was true,‚ÄĚ Lori Glazer, vice president and executive director of publicity, told Salon. ¬†
A seminal American novelist whose novels explored Jewish-American life, Roth produced a number of exemplary works of twentieth-century American fiction, including ‚ÄúGoodbye, Columbus,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúPortnoy‚Äôs Complaint,‚ÄĚ the collection ‚ÄúZuckerman Bound,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Human Stain.‚ÄĚ
Roth told interviewer Nelly Kaprielian that at age 74, he realized he didn‚Äôt have much time left and began revisiting his favorite literature. He re-read his favorite novelists like Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Conrad, and Hemingway. Then he revisited his own books in reverse chronological order before writing his final work, ‚ÄúNemesis,‚ÄĚ in 2010. ¬†
‚ÄúI wanted to see if I had wasted my time writing,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúAnd I thought it was rather successful. At the end of his life, the boxer Joe Louis said, ‚ÄėI did the best I could with what I had.‚Äô This is exactly what I would say of my work: I did the best I could with what I had.
‚ÄúAnd after that, I decided that I was done with fiction.¬†I do not want to read, to write more,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI have dedicated my life to the novel: I studied, I taught, I wrote and I read.¬†With the exclusion of almost everything else.¬†Enough is enough!¬†I no longer feel this fanaticism to write that I have experienced in my life.‚ÄĚ
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.