The Dilemma of The Dying Animal


Philip Roth poses us a dilemma in The Dying Animal. If you read The Professor of Desire, you get the story of David Kepesh up until say the mid seventies. And quite a story it is too, young life in a menage a trois, wife for eight years, almost as many recovering from wife, girlfriend with whom, at the end, he feels a dying passion.

In The Dying Animal (at least mid-way through) meet David Kepesh, who now mysteriously has a son with his first (and apparently only) wife, who came of age in the 1940s (when it was before clearly the 1960s) and who is master of the erotic and disgusting arts. He is obsessed not even with sex but with passion. His life drive is pure passion as passion.

Which of these two represent the story of David Kepesh? Or taken together are they intended to make up a now-tired commentary on the nature of the fictional world in that it is fictional and infinitely malleable.

I'll post more later. There is a particular passage in the book that I want to share but I have to figure out how best to do that without offending your, and my own, sensibilities. It's good to have read the two of these in close juxtaposition. Now I can begin to explore how they mean together.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 16, 2009 8:22 AM.

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