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Portnoy's Complaint

Vintage Blue

By Philip Roth

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Format: Paperback, 274 pages
Published In: UK, 01 March 1995
Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933-)] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: 'Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient's "morality," however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame, and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.' (Spielvogel, O. 'The Puzzled Penis, Internationale Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse, Vol. XXIV, p.909). It is believed by Spielvogel that many of the symptoms can be traced to the bonds obtaining in the mother-child relationship.

Promotional Information

'The most outrageously funny book about sex yet written' Guardian

About the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House, and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for 'the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004'. Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award 'for a body of work ... of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose 'scale of achievement over a sustained career ... places him or her in the highest rank of American literature'. In 2011 Roth won the International Man Booker Prize. Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.

Reviews

"The most outrageously funny book about sex yet written" * Guardian * "A hysterically funny monologue which has already added a new prototype to American literature... Anyone who can recall anything of the awesome mystery and humiliating farce of growing up will find this book compulsive reading. And it is blessedly, extremely funny" * Spectator * "Philip Roth's gift for fantasy, his superb dialogue, his ability to evoke places and atmospheres, make Portnoy's Complaint at once hilariously, scabrously funny and deeply moving" * Financial Times * "Alexander Portnoy is a great comic character. He is going to be for many readers what his mother was for him: The Most Unforgettable Character I've Met" * New Statesman *

EAN: 9780099399018
ISBN: 0099399016
Publisher: Vintage Books
Dimensions: 19.56 x 12.7 x 2.29 centimetres (0.20 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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