Um perfil que vale a pena ler: "Philip Roth Goes Home Again"
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Um perfil que vale a pena ler: "Philip Roth Goes Home Again"

Ricardo Lombardi

14 de outubro de 2010 | 08h37


A sugestão é do Jonas Lopes: a reportagem “Philip Roth Goes Home Again” saiu na mais recente edição da Esquire. Vale a pena. É ótima. O destaque do editor ficou assim: “As he publishes his thirty-first book, our greatest novelist returns to the Newark of his boyhood. And there, on Philip Roth Plaza, he can’t stop laughing.” O trecho de abertura da matéria:

“There are worse places to be stuck  in traffic than midtown Manhattan, worse people to be stuck with than Philip Roth. It’s pretty nice, actually: Esquire hired a car to schlep us to New Jersey, Roth’s old Jewing grounds, a jet-black SUV with a name — Tahoe? Denali? HinduKush? — and backseat as big as all outdoors, icy air-conditioning, and a small man at the steering wheel.

Roth’s reputation, especially when it comes to stuff like doing publicity, is daunting. He is severely smart. Suffers fools badly. Parries, rather than answers, questions.

True, true, and true. Roth has the mien and bearing of a man in charge by dint of brainpower alone. He is tall and thin, hawkeyed, comfortable in silence. He takes words in — visibly takes their measure — with no more than a cock of an eye or a narrowed brow. Say something particularly insipid and he may purse his lips.

And how else would anybody but a fool meet the world? This is no celebrity. This is a poker-faced novelist, a man who tasted fame, gagged, and spit it out, the same man who two-plus decades back told an interviewer, “I am very much like somebody who spends all day writing.”

Not today. Today we’re Newark-bound, and to break the ice, I’ve brought the master a gift. It’s a copy of the New American Review containing perhaps the worst thing Roth has ever published, a long short story titled “On the Air.”

“Wonderful!” Roth says. “I don’t have it.””