Well-known member
I'm surprised there wasn't more of a wave to 'cancel' him in the wake of his death and the biography debacle, but I suppose he was already dead and the issue with the biography was down to the biographer rather than Roth.

It is odd to think of him as this NYT and New Yorker darling, mind you, given how violently his whole thing clashes with their current direction.


Was chatting to my friend the other day, apparently his dad appears in this book under a pseudonym


"Three workers were appointed in contrasting areas of England to make contact with unattached young people. It is useful to narrow the term “unattached” to those who do not belong to a youth organisation and who are also unhappy and/or delinquent. Mary Morse considers the effectiveness of these three “detached youthworker” projects undertaken in the early 1960s ..."

His dad appears to be quite an interesting character. I think he got fired from his teaching job at a London college cos he got raided by the police who had figured out he was selling drugs. Oops. Now he lives in the Algarve and seems to be a hippy and ladies man, and so Max grew up between England and Portugal.

Anyhow, I ordered it, let's see if it turns up...


thread death
Finally finished Musil’s Man Without Qualities. A high modernist novel set just before 1WW breaks out - very much a novel of ideas which might appeal to Thomas Mann or Kundera fans. Whilst set at same time as Radetsky March - which I also love - it’s quite different. The poor sod never finished the thing. The three volumes that are complete come in at about 1400 pages but there’s probably another 300 pages of notes. I know I’m not selling it well but I really enjoyed it - those interwar writers like Roth, Benjamin, Zweig etc do have a great appeal to me.

This piece was written before the new translation (which garnered a lot of praise) came out


bandz ahoy
Started reading De Quincey's 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater' last night after being transfixed by the parody in 'Ulysses' (this was a bit of light reading inbetween Joyce). I'm reading the pre-opium part where De Quincey talks about his education and living in poverty in London.

It's very unintentionally funny, because De Quincey is such an insecure arrogant nerd, keeps going on about how great he was at Greek at school, etc. So I'd recommend it for that reason alone, but when he isn't talking about himself De Quincey does say interesting things about other people. I'm assuming the real action will be when he starts huffing on a hookah.


bandz ahoy
"I set off on foot, carrying a small parcel with some articles of dress under my arm; a favourite English poet in one pocket, and a small 12mo volume, containing about nine plays of Euripides, in the other."

"I was indeed greatly irritated at the bishop’s having suggested any grounds of suspicion, however remotely, against a person whom he had never seen; and I thought of letting him know my mind in Greek, which, at the same time that it would furnish some presumption that I was no swindler, would also (I hoped) compel the bishop to reply in the same language; in which case I doubted not to make it appear that if I was not so rich as his lordship, I was a far better Grecian."

"I do not often weep: for not only do my thoughts on subjects connected with the chief interests of man daily, nay hourly, descend a thousand fathoms “too deep for tears;..."


In all the Himes books I read he seemed to feel that fuck was an offensive word and it would be better to replace it with rape any time it might occur.
A dog-eared copy of The Balcony by Jean Genet

Its a shame i don't speak French beyond the usual beer and decadence carry on as i think the dialogue would probably have more of a zip in French though the Internet says it was premiered in English? So who knows

Anyway i like the concept more than the play, everyone trapped in a brothel while the revolution kicks off outside, reminds me of Souls on Fire where they're all in a bar while the Rodney King riots go mad outside (though that ofc came later)

Not sure what the modern equivalent would be really. I had a really memorable piss-up the night of 7/7 but i think that was mainly because i was surprised i wasn't dead
Also dipping into Glitz by Elmore Leonard- great - and Journeyman by Ben Smith which is basically a big Undr The Cosh with less stories about Neil Warnock rubbing sudocrem on his piles