Shoot the critics

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.

Philip Roth gives a fascinating, apparently candid and definitely cranky interview to Danish writer Martin Krasnik over at the Guardian. Topics include his unwillingness to smile, his annoyance at being labelled a Jewish writer, his forthcoming book, Everyman, and the annoying persistence of literary talk:

I would be wonderful with a 100-year moratorium on literature talk, if you shut down all literature departments, close the book reviews, ban the critics. The readers should be alone with the books, and if anyone dared to say anything about them, they would be shot or imprisoned right on the spot. Yes, shot. A 100-year moratorium on insufferable literary talk. You should let people fight with the books on their own and rediscover what they are and what they are not. Anything other than this talk. Fairytale talk. As soon as you generalise, you are in a completely different universe than that of literature, and there’s no bridge between the two

Interviews with writers are so much more interesting when the writer slips off the mask, no?


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