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.
Number of Pages: 272
Publication Date: 18 May 1995
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 19.8(H) x 12.9(L) x 1.7(W)
Weight (gm): 192
The most scandalous book of the year and probably the decade. -- John Sutherland * The Times *
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 *
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.