Our Exorbitant Expectations

In case you missed it on The Baffler. . .

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1
© PHILIP BURKE
"The Monk Retires" by J.C. Hallman
2© DENNIS CROWLEY
3© A NAME LIKE SHIELDS CAN MAKE YOU DEFENSIVE
"Stacking the Deck" by Scott Beauchamp

Frankly, friends,

What more do you want from Philip Roth?

"Readers, it seems, want enough books to be able to glimpse an author from a number of angles, but they don't want so many that they would have to sign over a significant chunk of their lives just to keep up," writes J.C. Hallman in his latest essay for The BafflerConsider yourselves scolded.

The hard truth is that Roth's many curtain calls, as he tries to give up the ghost of public life, can be put down to our exorbitant expectations: "To suggest," continues Hallman, "even in jest that a writer has 'retired' is to cheapen that role"—and to exile Roth to the chattering bargain basement of the Literary Death Match.

"It may be that Roth, by his own standards, has written too much." Well!

Don't forget to book tickets to "Man Is Not a Rock," a theatrical adaptation of a conversation between Elizabeth Markstein and Joseph Brodsky that we're cosponsoring. Secret Speakeasy, May 31. (Non-New Yorkers may read along here.)

—The Baffler

 

6
© TOM PURVES
"Hell's Pundits" by Chris Lehmann
5© PETER BURGESS
"Nausea in the UK" by Robert Appelbaum
6© RUSTY CLARK
          
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Every attentive adulthood, as it were, parts its good humoured dog, but it is the outrageous dew of

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