The Counterlife by Philip Roth

 

counterlifeThis is an amazing novel. Published in 1986, it is based on Roth’s narrative persona Nathan Zuckerman, who was the protagonist of the novels that made up the Zuckerman Trilogy “Zuckerman Bound” with its epilogue “The Prague Orgy”. In “The Counterlife” Roth breaks free of a host of narrative and realistic conventions in order to plumb the depths of his greatest creation, his fictional alter ego Nathan Zuckerman. The reader is pulled one way and another in order to get at just who this character is, or who he might be, or who he could be, so that by the end of the novel, the reader will feel both sure and unsure of this character, but also be brought towards a greater understanding of what a tremulous creation character is, and how contingent it is as opposed to essential, and how problematic it is too.

 

Mr A

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