Portnoy's Complaint

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Vintage, 1995 - Families - 274 pages
38 Reviews
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.

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User Review  - martensgirl - LibraryThing

I picked up this book completely ignorant of its content, When I realised it was a first-person Jewish introspection I was concerned it would be a tedious ramble, reminiscent of Jacobson's The Finkler ... Read full review

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User Review  - steadfastreader - LibraryThing

Thank FSM I finished this book. Maybe I'm not smart enough. Maybe I don't do well with this particular style of literature but dear lord! It's the rambling of a madman... more or less. Consumed and ... Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey on 19 March 1933. The second child of second-generation Americans, Bess and Herman Roth, Roth grew up in the largely Jewish community of Weequahic, a neighbourhood he was to return to time and again in his writing. After graduating from Weequahic High School in 1950, he attended Bucknell University, Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, where he received a scholarship to complete his M.A. in English Literature.In 1959, Roth published Goodbye, Columbus- a collection of stories, and a novella - for which he received the National Book Award. Ten years later, the publication of his fourth novel, Portnoy?s Complaint, brought Roth both critical and commercial success, firmly securing his reputation as one of America?s finest young writers. Roth was the author of thirty-one books, including those that were to follow the fortunes of Nathan Zuckerman, and a fictional narrator named Philip Roth, through which he explored and gave voice to the complexities of the American experience in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Roth?s lasting contribution to literature was widely recognised throughout his lifetime, both in the US and abroad. Among other commendations he was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the International Man Booker Prize, twice the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award, and presented with the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal by Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively.Philip Roth died on 22 May 2018 at the age of eighty-five having retired from writing six years previously.

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