Quote-Unquote: Philip Roth on Writing

After saying he was finished writing books, Philip Roth decided to re-read the 31 he’d written between 1959 and 2010. “I wanted to see whether I wasted my time. You never can  be sure, you know,” he said in an interview with Daniel Sandstrom, cultural editor of Svenska Dagbladet, and published in that Swedish paper and the New York Times Book Review.

Here’s what Roth said about writing:

“Everybody has a hard job. All real work is hard. My work happened also to be undoable. Morning after morning for 50 years, I faced the next page defenseless and unprepared. Writing for me was a feat of self-preservation. If I did not do it, I would die. So I did it. Obstinacy, not talent, saved my life.”

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