Philip Roth on Aging

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  • AJ says:

    Mr. Roth may have touched on a bit of wis­dom in that one minute remark. I am old enough to be sure he is right–the only thing gold­en about these years is the t‑chest of mem­o­ries shar­ing time and atten­tion with oth­ers. MJ, my sole idol, if I had any in the arts, rep­re­sent­ed por­trait of a man ‑yes, a man, McWhort­er (see TNR), get­ting old­er as he was. What writ­ers do so often is com­ment effu­sive­ly about what some­one is or is not in Amer­i­ca. Our nation is not a nation of man­ly men, rap­pers, bari­tones or falset­to voic­es. It’s every­thing seen and unseen, heard and unheard. Does Amer­i­ca have an iden­ti­ty? Let’s be hon­est. We make up our lives as we go here and cel­e­brate pre­tense. If MJ epit­o­mized any­thing, it was that pre­tense, the fan­ta­sy of being what­ev­er he want­ed to be. With no axe to grind, I have no judge­ment againt my song and dance idol. Whether old age would have wore him well or wore him out, we’ll nev­er know. But in any­thing that will remain of Amer­i­cana, he’ll be there.

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