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Saturday, February 13, 2021

Philip Roth On Why He Writes

My interest is in solving problems presented by writing a novel. That's what stops my brain spinning like a car wheel in the snow, obsessing about nothing. Some people do crossword puzzles to satisfy their need to keep their mind engaged. For me, the absolutely demanding mental test is the desire to get the work right. The crude cliche is that the novelist is solving the problem of his life in his books. Not at all. What he's doing is taking something that interests him in life and then solving the problem of the book--which is, how do you write about this?

Philip Roth, The Guardian, September 11, 2004 

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