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Philip Roth é certamente um dos maiores escritores vivos. Em 1999, registrei o impacto que me casou a leitura de American Pastoral (Pastoral Americana). Depois dele, vieram I Married a Communist (2000, não me ocorre neste momento a tradução em português), The Human Stain (2001, agora pela Companhia das Letras, como A Marca Humana) e The Dying Animal (2002, lançado logo após o 11 de setembro).
Graças a um providencial link do Pedro Dória, descobri uma recente entrevista de Roth para o jornal Independent. Nela, ele fala de Norman Mailer e do tal "romance americano", de sua trilogia, de Nova York e dos Estados Unidos pós-11 de setembro e, claro, da tragédia intelectual promovida pelo academicismo, pela ideologia, pelo politicamente correto e até pelas novas tecnologias. Ouvi-lo e lê-lo é ter renovadas algumas esperanças.
"To me, New York had become interesting again, because it had once again become a city in crisis, particularly in the weeks that followed [September 11], with everybody waiting for the next explosion. And then there was ground zero, which wasn't called that yet, which was drawing lots of visitors.
"Oh, everything revolts me! Not out of my superiority, and I hope not out of righteousness, but language is always a lie, especially public language. And that's why Norman Mailer and myself and others are trying to counter the untruths, the lies in our writing. Our writing scratches the surface and reveals what's underneath. [...] As regards Bush, the ventriloquists make him speak. His speeches are like an advertising campaign, but I don't know if it's going to work.
"[The realism, or naturalism, in your book is Zolaesque.] Good! But what you're talking about is an integral part of the rehashing in American literature. That's the power of the American novel. Take Norman Mailer, his book The Executioner's Song - a monument - or The Naked and the Dead, where he adopts the great American realist tradition. And without Faulkner and his contorted prose, how could we have imagined the South as it really is? The strength of the American novel is its enormous capacity to bear witness to the place and the moment.
"What I'm trying to bring home is the total absence of intellectual rigour. Students have no idea what it is to think. And what they are taught is absurd. In general, the problem boils down to the way English literature is taught. It's scandalous. Any desire to read that hasn't been destroyed by popular culture, television, films or computers, literature courses have taken care of! It's an intellectual tragedy. All these ideological methods represent is careerism and vanity. There are guys going into their first year at university, they haven't learnt anything in high school, don't even know when the Second World War was, and they get a professor who gives them Foucault to read!"
Postado por Julio Daio Borges
17/10/2002 às 14h00
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