In urma cu 2 ani scriitorul Philip Roth a anuntat ca nu va mai scrie nicio carte. Saptamina trecuta a acordat primul lui interviu dupa aceasta lunga perioada de pauza.
Nu, nu se va mai intoarce la scris, dar ce e frumos si emotionant in acelasi timp, Roth si-a recitit 31 dintre cartile pe care le-a scris ca sa vada daca lasa publicului, peste timp, ceva valoros si coerent.
Gestul mi se pare cu incarcatura unui testament si arata o responsabilitate pe care Roth a simtit-o de-a lungul timpului, dupa ce a fost etichetat drept “cel mai bun scriitor american contemporan”. Mai e si putina mindrie acolo, dar e mult perfectionism.
Sa-ti recitesti 31 de carti, cu ochi critic, sa te privesti prin ele, sa-ti reamintesti viata si sa intelegi cum ai progresat in anii astia ca scriitor. Ce bucurie de om trebuie sa fie Philip Roth, intre peretii inimii lui.
iata citeva fragmente din interviu:
I did, as you say, sit down to reread the 31 books I’d published between 1959 and 2010. I wanted to see whether I’d wasted my time. You never can be sure, you know.
My conclusion, after I’d finished, echoes the words spoken by an American boxing hero of mine, Joe Louis. He was world heavyweight champion from the time I was four until I was 16. He had been born in the Deep South, an impoverished black kid with no education to speak of, and even during the glory of the undefeated 12 years, when he defended his championship an astonishing 26 times, he stood aloof from language. So when he was asked upon his retirement about his long career, Joe sweetly summed it up in just 10 words. “I did the best I could with what I had.”
Everybody has a hard job. All real work is hard. My work happened also to be undoable. Morning after morning for 50 years, I faced the next page defenceless and unprepared. Writing for me was a feat of self-preservation. If I did not do it, I would die. So I did it. Obstinacy, not talent, saved my life. It was also my good luck that happiness didn’t matter to me and I had no compassion for myself. Though why such a task should have fallen to me I have no idea. Maybe writing protected me against even worse menace.
Now? Now I am a bird sprung from a cage instead of (to reverse Kafka’s famous conundrum) a bird in search of a cage. The horror of being caged has lost its thrill. It is now truly a great relief, something close to a sublime experience, to have nothing more to worry about than death.
Whoever looks for the writer’s thinking in the words and thoughts of his characters is looking in the wrong direction. Seeking out a writer’s “thoughts” violates the richness of the mixture that is the very hallmark of the novel. The thought of the novelist that matters most is the thought that makes him a novelist.
The thought of the novelist lies not in the remarks of his characters or even in their introspection but in the plight he has invented for his characters, in the juxtaposition of those characters and in the lifelike ramifications of the ensemble they make — their density, their substantiality, their lived existence actualized in all its nuanced particulars, is in fact his thought metabolized.
The thought of the writer lies in his choice of an aspect of reality previously unexamined in the way that he conducts an examination. The thought of the writer is embedded everywhere in the course of the novel’s action. The thought of the writer is figured invisibly in the elaborate pattern — in the newly emerging constellation of imagined things — that is the architecture of the book: what Aristotle called simply “the arrangement of the parts,” the “matter of size and order.” The thought of the novel is embodied in the moral focus of the novel. The tool with which the novelist thinks is the scrupulosity of his style. Here, in all this, lies whatever magnitude his thought may have.
The novel, then, is in itself his mental world. A novelist is not a tiny cog in the great wheel of human thought. He is a tiny cog in the great wheel of imaginative literature.
intregul interviu aici