Happy Birthday, Philip Roth, born 19 March 1933
Philip Roth: 12 Quotes
- Sheer Playfulness and Deadly Seriousness are my closest friends.
- Writing turns you into somebody who's always wrong. The illusion that you may get it right someday is the perversity that draws you on.
- The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.
- Literature isn’t a moral beauty contest. Its power arises from the authority and audacity with which the impersonation is pulled off; the belief it inspires is what counts.
- A writer has to be driven crazy to help him to see. A writer needs his poisons.
- I cannot and do not live in the world of discretion, not as a writer, anyway. I would prefer to, I assure you - it would make life easier. But discretion is, unfortunately, not for novelists.
- Life is just a short period of time in which you are alive.
- When you publish a book, it’s the world’s book. The world edits it.
- Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.
- Stop worrying about growing old. And think about growing up.
- Literature takes a habit of mind that has disappeared. It requires silence, some form of isolation, and sustained concentration in the presence of an enigmatic thing.
- I turn sentences around. That’s my life. I write a sentence and then I turn it around. Then I look at it and turn it around again…
Roth is one of the most awarded U.S. writers of his generation: his books have twice received the National Book Award, twice the National Book Critics Circle award, and three times the PEN/Faulkner Award. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel, American Pastoral.
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