Is this not Roth’s attempt to be honest about the effect of his work? I mean to read Roth but have only recently got into Bellow. In particular, “Humbolt’s Gift” which I found energetic, entertaining and thought provoking. Thanks for this!
These days, it’s not very fashionable to read Philip Roth (1933-2018), but Deception (1990) is remarkably prescient.
“Can you explain to the court why you hate women?”
“But I don’t hate them.”
“If you do not hate women, why have you defamed them and denigrated them in your books? Why have you abused them in your work and in your life?”
“I have not abused them in either.”
“We had heard testimony from expert witnesses, expert witnesses who have pointed to chapter and verse to support their every judgement. And yet you are trying, are you, to tell this court that these authorities with unimpeachable professional standards, testifying under oath in a court of law, are either mistaken or lying? May I ask you, sir—what have you ever done that has been of service to women?”
“And why do you, may I ask, take the depiction of one woman as…
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