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December 06, 2004


Novelist Phillip Roth also stands while he's working

"He works standing up, paces around while he's thinking and has said he walks half a mile for every page he writes"

Roth also doesn't work where he sleeps. This informs his formal consideration of the novel.

"What [the novelist] is doing is taking something that interests him in life and then solving the problem of the book - which is, How do you write about this? The engagement is with the problem that the book raises, not with the problems you borrow from living. Those aren't solved, they are forgotten in the gigantic problem of finding a way of writing about them."

What is resolved by writing is not clear. Perhaps the novel is the biggest and best thing to mute life's problems.



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