Philip Roth - Book Quotes
5 Sourced Quotes
I was trying to solve the problem of this book. (My Life as a Man) When it seemed I never would, I stopped and wrote Our Gang; when I tried again and still couldn't write it, I stopped and wrote the baseball book; then while finishing the baseball book, I stopped to write The Breast. It was as though I were blasting my way through a tunnel to reach the novel I couldn't write. Each of one's books is a blast, clearing the way for what's next.
You ask if I thought my fiction had changed anything in the culture and the answer is no. Sure, there's been some scandal, but people are scandalized all the time; it's a way of life for them. It doesn't mean a thing. If you ask if I want my fiction to change anything in the culture, the answer is still no. What I want is to possess my readers while they are reading my book — if I can, to possess them in ways that other writers don't. Then let them return, just as they were, to a world where everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt, and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise, to have set loose in them the consciousness that's otherwise conditioned and hemmed in by all that isn't fiction.