On Philip Roth’s Lasting Legacy
From the History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today? Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
As a child growing up in Newark, New Jersey in the 1930s and 40s, Philip Milton Roth (1933-2018) never thought about being a writer. By the time he died, he had become one of the most famous and celebrated figures in the literary world—though his writing and personal flaws attracted criticism as well as admiration. In this episode, Jacke and Mike discuss the life and potential legacy of Philip Roth, author of Goodbye Columbus, Portnoy’s Complaint, Sabbath’s Theater, American Pastoral, The Plot Against America, and many other works