vendredi 11 mars 2011
Philip Roth, THE FACTS (1987), in NOVELS AND OTHER NARRATIVES, 1986-1991, New York, Library of America, 2008, 767 pages.
It's even possible that the ferment inspired a month later by the publication of Goodbye, Columbus - the pulpit sermons, the household arguments, the discussions within Jewish organizations gauging my danger, all of which unexpectedly dramatized to people who were essentially nonreaders what was, after all, only a first book of short stories - might never have reached troublesome proportions had "Defender of the Faith" been certified as permissible Jewish discourse by appearing in Commentary. And had that happened - had there not been the inflammatory fanfare of the New Yorker exposure, had Goodbye, Columbus had the innocuous cultural fate of a minor critical success - it's likely that my alleged anti-Semitism might never have comme to pervade the discussion of my work, stimulating me to defend myself in essays and public adresses and, when I decided to take things more aggressively in hand, to strike back at accusations that I had divulged Jewish secrets and vulgarly falsified Jewish lives by upping the ante in Portnoy's Complaint. That was not mistaken for a conciliatory act, and the ramifications of the uproar it fomented eventually inspired me to crystallize the public feud into the drama of internal family dissenssion that's the backbone of the Zuckerman series, which began to take shape some eight years later.