My contribution to the volume considers Roth’s celebration of human passions through the plots and style of many of his novels. I begin with an analysis of Indignation and move on to Portnoy's Complaint and Nemesis to explore how Roth represents indignation or, more generally, anger: a passion which has been held up by recent protest movements and whose ambivalent status was well known to poets and philosophers of all ages. Anger, I suggest, is crucially linked to violence, but also to the vitality and morality of human existence. In one of the early pages of Roth’s novel The Human Stain, Coleman Silk asks his students 'You know how European literature begins?' and then proceeds to answer his own question: literature begins 'with a quarrel' that triggers 'the ruinous wrath of Achilles'. Since then, Coleman adds, things have not changed much: we still quarrel, and often for the same reasons as our ancestors of two thousand years ago. But are we really giving voice and expression to the same passions? Does Homer describe the same anger as Roth? This concern, which links the different sections of this volume, finds a response in the comparative approach, which is perhaps the best way of capturing the complexity of human passions. Every period and every culture filters the human passions and reconfigures them, but the persistence of certain basic narrative structures – stories of the mind, as Hogan would put it – is, in Fisher’s words, 'one of the best arguments that we have for cultural memory, for a sustained core account of human nature in spite of the constructions of culture, power, and historical moment, and for the deep structural grasp on certain themes within the changing episodes and local design or redesign that can be traced in our three-thousand-year record.' Literary analysis, then, in combination with philosophical, psychological, sociological and psychoanalytic inquiry, enables the authors of this volume to map some of the passions that have been fascinating writers for thousands of years and that even now continue to shape our stories, and our lives.

Corso, S. (2017). Indignation. Philip Roth and Beyond. In Simona Corso and Beth Guilding (a cura di), Narrating the Passions. New Perspectives from Modern and Contemporary Literature (pp. 223-245). Oxford : Peter Lang.

Indignation. Philip Roth and Beyond

CORSO, SIMONA
2017

Abstract

My contribution to the volume considers Roth’s celebration of human passions through the plots and style of many of his novels. I begin with an analysis of Indignation and move on to Portnoy's Complaint and Nemesis to explore how Roth represents indignation or, more generally, anger: a passion which has been held up by recent protest movements and whose ambivalent status was well known to poets and philosophers of all ages. Anger, I suggest, is crucially linked to violence, but also to the vitality and morality of human existence. In one of the early pages of Roth’s novel The Human Stain, Coleman Silk asks his students 'You know how European literature begins?' and then proceeds to answer his own question: literature begins 'with a quarrel' that triggers 'the ruinous wrath of Achilles'. Since then, Coleman adds, things have not changed much: we still quarrel, and often for the same reasons as our ancestors of two thousand years ago. But are we really giving voice and expression to the same passions? Does Homer describe the same anger as Roth? This concern, which links the different sections of this volume, finds a response in the comparative approach, which is perhaps the best way of capturing the complexity of human passions. Every period and every culture filters the human passions and reconfigures them, but the persistence of certain basic narrative structures – stories of the mind, as Hogan would put it – is, in Fisher’s words, 'one of the best arguments that we have for cultural memory, for a sustained core account of human nature in spite of the constructions of culture, power, and historical moment, and for the deep structural grasp on certain themes within the changing episodes and local design or redesign that can be traced in our three-thousand-year record.' Literary analysis, then, in combination with philosophical, psychological, sociological and psychoanalytic inquiry, enables the authors of this volume to map some of the passions that have been fascinating writers for thousands of years and that even now continue to shape our stories, and our lives.
978-1-78707-121-6
Corso, S. (2017). Indignation. Philip Roth and Beyond. In Simona Corso and Beth Guilding (a cura di), Narrating the Passions. New Perspectives from Modern and Contemporary Literature (pp. 223-245). Oxford : Peter Lang.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/314075
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