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Portnoy's Complaintby Philip Roth
Synopses & Reviews
Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933- )] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: 'Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient's "morality," however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.' (Spielvogel, O. "The Puzzled Penis," Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, Vol. XXIV, p. 909.) It is believed by Spielvogel that many of the symptoms can be traced to the bonds obtaining in the mother-child relationship.
With a new Afterword by the author for the 25th Anniversary edition.
"Touching as well as hilariously lewd....Roth is vibrantly talented...as marvelous a mimic and fantasist as has been produced by the most verbal group in human history." Alfred Kazin, New York Review of Books
"Deliciously funny...absurd and exuberant, wild and uproarious...a brilliantly vivid reading experience." The New York Times Book Review
"Roth is the bravest writer in the United States. He's morally brave, he's politically brave. And Portnoy is part of that bravery." Cynthia Ozick, Newsday
"Simply one of the two or three funniest works in American fiction." Chicago Sun-Times
This modern classic of the Jewish American experience centers around one Alexander Portnoy, who on the couch of his psychoanalyst, confesses everything from his adolescent preoccupation with masturbation to his subjugation by his dominating mother, Sophie.
New York lawyer Alexander Portnoy, a young man dominated by a demanding Jewish mother, plays out a sexual revenge in fact and fantasy, in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the popular novel.
About the Author
Philip Roth received the 1960 National Book Award in fiction for Goodbye, Columbus. He has twice received the National Book Critics Circle Award — in 1987 for the novel The Counterlife and in 1992 for Patrimony. Operation Shylock won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was chosen by Time magazine as the best American novel of 1993. In 1995, Roth's Sabbath's Theater received the National Book Award in fiction. In 1998, he received the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral and was a White House recipient of the National Medal of Arts. His other books include the trilogy and epilogue Zuckerman Bound; the novels Letting Go, My Life as a Man, and The Professor of Desire, the political satire Our Gang, and most recently The Human Stain.
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