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. Spievogel 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 fur 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.
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.