Philip Roth was “the greatest writer in contemporary american”, writes François Busnel

“He is one of the greatest writers of all short,” added the journalist-literary, Wednesday, on franceinfo, in homage to Philip Roth, who died at the age of 85 years.

Philip Roth était "le plus grand écrivain américain contemporain", estime François Busnel

The writer Philip Roth in New York, September 8, 2008. (RICHARD DREW / AP / SIPA / AP)

Philip Roth was “someone irreplaceable and unique, “was hailed, on franceinfo, François Busnel, presenter of The Big Bookshop on France 5. The american writer, died at age 85 Tuesday, may 22. “He often said that the job of the writer is not to have an opinion on everything, it is to write about everything, all that is interesting : the state of the policy, the state of the economy, and, above all, the state of human relations“, continued the journalist, literary.

franceinfo : Philip Roth claimed to have read all his books to be sure of not having wasted his time. You would have probably been able to reassure him ?

François Busnel : For the blow, it is true that Philip Roth is the greatest american writer of contemporary, it is one of the greatest writers throughout short, for several reasons. First of all because it is the one who, book after book, has managed to be the slayer of the well-pensance, with a work that is at once insolent, provocative, disturbing, and, at the end, extremely dark. He was able to talk of taboos, of desire, of sex and death, no way pontifiante, but with a lot of irreverence and hilarity. It must be remembered that it is a comic writer : the first books tell stories that blended the erotic fantasies, a sense of humor persifleur, a few lurches historical, also, as he told the Story of the America of 1945 to the post-11-September. You can read Roth with this grid, you say, “If I’m trying to understand this country of the Second world War to the war on terrorism”, the work of Philip Roth tells us about it. And then, at the same time, it tells us about the war of men and women with themselves, at war with their parents, with their regrets, with sex, with desire, with marriage, with the couple. It was Philip Roth who is the best, open up a scalpel to the social body and the physical body, and tell us what’s in it, with a mix of humor, erudition, and provoc.

And by blurring the boundary between fiction and reality, between autobiography and fiction, since it was created double ?

This, too, is part of the games of Philip Roth. It should not be forgotten that he started to be famous extremely early : by the age of 26 in 1959, Philip Roth is a celebrity that has no idea today. That is to say, it sends a stone into the pond of puritan America by telling the story of a young jewish woman who loses her iud in a swimming pool. Scandal absolute for the time !

For those who love literature, fiction, it is without doubt the most grandFrançois Busnelfranceinfo

And then it continues like that with the story of a young jewish man who goes to the psychoanalyst and who spends his time masturbating. Then, tell the inside story on how the jews could sometimes tell, which led to him being accused of anti-semitism. And we said, “It is like that”. Of course it is not like that : the man is not as his work.

What man was it, then ?

We met with him a dozen times in the course of the last fifteen years. He was a man who was exactly the opposite of the image he could give. In public, he could give the image of someone that’s extremely distant and cold, he hated the interviews, there was very little radio, almost never tv. But, in reality, “cold” and distant, this is the image he wanted to give. We had to deal with someone incredibly funny, and who played to that image, someone who could be a comic burning, fierce also, very attentive and immersed in his world, in his work. This is someone who was not a follower of the worldly, he had friends with whom he chatted, but he lived in his world.

Share Button