Cover image for Portnoy's complaint
Title:
Portnoy's complaint
Author:
Roth, Philip.
Personal Author:
Edition:
1st Vintage International ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Vintage International, 1994.
Physical Description:
274 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
Philip Roth's bestselling novel, which takes the form of a monologue featuring the confession of a comic character who is thrust through life by his unappeasable sexuality, yet at the same time held back by the iron grip of his unforgettable childhood.
General Note:
"Vintage books."
Language:
English
Electronic Access:
Contributor biographical information http://www.loc.gov/catdir/bios/random051/94016661.html
Publisher description http://www.loc.gov/catdir/description/random042/94016661.html
ISBN:
9780679756453
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The groundbreaking novel that propelled its author to literary stardom: told in a continuous monologue from patient to psychoanalyst, Philip Roth's masterpiece draws us into the turbulent mind of one lust-ridden young Jewish bachelor named Alexander Portnoy.

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 für 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.


Author Notes

Philip Milton Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 19, 1933. He attended Rutgers University for one year before transferring to Bucknell University where he completed a B.A. in English with highest honors in 1954. He received an M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1955.

His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, received the National Book Award in 1960. His other books include Letting Go, When She Was Good, Portnoy's Complaint, My Life as a Man, The Ghostwriter, Zuckerman Unbound, I Married a Communist, The Plot Against America, The Facts, The Anatomy Lesson, Exit Ghost, Deception, Nemesis, Everyman, Indignation, and The Humbling. He won the National Book Critic Circle Awards in 1987 for his novel The Counterlife and in 1992 for his memoir Patrimony: A True Story. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1993 for Operation Shylock: A Confession and in 2001 for The Human Stain, the National Book Award in 1995 for Sabbath's Theater, and the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for American Pastoral. He stopped writing in 2010. He died from congestive heart failure on May 22, 2018 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The 25th-anniversary edition of Roth's classic novel features a new afterword by the author. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved