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"Sheer Playfulness and Deadly Seriousness are my closest friends." -- Philip Roth
November 25, 2011
Today, the most American of holidays, let’s give thanks for passages such as this from American Pastoral:
[I]t was never but once a year that they were brought together anyway, and that was on the neutral , dereligionized ground of Thanksgiving, when everybody gets to eat the same thing, nobody sneaking off to eat funny stuff–no kugel, no gefilte fish, no bitter herbs, just one colossal turkey for two hundred and fifty million people–one colossal turkey feeds all. A moratorium on funny foods and funny ways and religious exclusivity, a moratorium on the three-thousand-year-old nostalgia of the Jews, a moratorium on Christ and the cross and the crucifixion for the Christians, where everyone in New Jersey and elsewhere can be more passive about their irrationalities than they are the rest of the year. A moratorium on all the grievances and resentments, and not only for the Dwyers and the Levovs but for everyone in America who is suspicious of everyone else. It is the American pastoral par excellence and it lasts twenty-four hours.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving from the Philip Roth Society!
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