Wednesday, January 8, 2014

he blames Philip Roth

Of course, women are not the only ones trying to figure out their identities through reading. Take what happened to male writer Mark Greif: “Philip Roth is the person I’m most sorry I read when I was young,” Greif said in a 2007 n+1 panel. “It ruined my life.” Reading him as a 13-year-old, “I was convinced I was going to get laid. … Philip Roth seemed to make it clear that you become a writer, and then you have sex all the time, and you’re ridiculously rich …  I was like, ‘This is all going to be so easy,’ not realizing that in fact what he was offering was not what life offers most people, and not what it was going to offer me.”

Greif was upset that he was promised a male narrative that didn’t pan out. What he didn’t consider is who was on the other side of that promise. (Not mattering might be even worse than not getting laid.)

- Amanda Hess's really, truly seriously depressing she doesn't mention Adrienne Rich, though, who wrote about loving the male canon (that's what she said) and trying to identify with it just beautifully.