Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

MILESTONES


Philip Roth died yesterday.  He was nine months older than I am, very much a writer of my generation.  Saul Bellow, William Faulkner, Arthur Miller, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and J. D. Salinger were all older, already established by the time I was old enough to read novels other than Sherlock Homes.  I am not a serious reader of novels, and I think I only read two of Roth’s books, Portnoy’s Complaint and a curious novella called The Breast, but his death at the age of eighty-five reminds me once again of my own mortality.  As a young teenage high school student, the writers who meant the most to me were Steinbeck, e. e. cummings, Carl Sandburg, and Bertrand Russell. 

Sic transit gloria mundi.

7 comments:

howard b said...

The Breast was like The Metamorphosis only with an extra dash of eros.
It is a milestone- someone, I think, can write Woody Allen's New York- or Phillip Roth's America- Phillip Roth is gone and so is his America

David said...

Philip Roth's America lives on in The Plot Against America.

howard b said...

David, isn't it unusual for dystopian let alone utopian works of fiction to come to pass? His body of work as a whole hearkens back to a lost age as much as Twain and Salinger do. It is sad and mortifying that Phillip Roth lives on in The Plot Against America

s. wallerstein said...

I'm originally from Newark, New Jersey as is Roth and Jewish like him, so I recognize places, even streets, and sociological realities from my childhood in some of Roth's fiction, for example, Goodbye Columbus or American Pastoral.

If Roth were not from Newark, I doubt that he would interest me much. There are works which portray human realities and it matters little where they take place: Anna Karenina would be great art whether it takes place in Russia or in Chicago. It is of zero interest that Hamlet takes place in Denmark, not Portugal, but for me at least Roth's value has to do with bringing back stuff from my childhood.

Dean C. Rowan said...

I'm not yet sixty, but having read three or four of his novels over the years, among them the gloriously filthy Sabbath's Theater, more recently The Human Stain, I can testify that Roth's fiction reminds me of my own mortality. But at least they also made me laugh, if uncomfortably.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I think Prof. Wolff might be interested:

Robert Paul Wolff on Karl Marx – Lecture Series
Posted on 20 May 2018 by David Fields
https://urpe.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/robert-paul-wolff-on-karl-marx-lecture-series/

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thanks for the tip. Maybe someone will view some of it.