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Cándalo Lewinski Coleman Silk un viejo catedrático de una peueña universidad de Nueva Inglaterra se ve obligado a jubilarse cuando sus colegas lo acusan de racista Lo asombroso del dictamen es ue la verdad sobre Silk podría acallar hasta al más virulento de sus d Shaming Censors of Academic Speech A Pox on the PC PoliceMy favorite Roth novel I will miss the lusty old tale hound I m very depressed how in this country you can be told That s offensive as though those two words constitute an argument Christopher HitchensColeman Silk a professor of classics at a local esteemed college has been accused of racism by two African American students in one of his classes after he notices upon calling roll that these two enrolled students never attend his class and mumbles Do they exist or are they spooks Roth brilliantly uses the most ambiguous of words due to its several legitimate meanings compared to the one meaning racially derogatory to African Americans Wikipedia s most comprehensive definition indicates the term s many meanings a few of which fit the context of the professor s statement only one of which is the racially offensive pejorative use The primary other use which appears to fit the context unless some evidence of a racial animus could be shown is of an apparition who is present but cannot be seen This latter meaning is in fact its primary English meaning since its etymology revolves around various references to ghost or apparition cognate Dutch spook ghost Middle Dutch spooc spook ghost liken German Spuk ghost apparition Middle Low German spok spook and Norwegian spjok ghost specter Silk says he used the word spook to sarcastically imply the possibility that the students might be attending as ghosts or spirits That since they did not attend class and he didn t know who they were he could not even know their raceI won t get too sidetracked on political correctness run amok in this country particularly in academia and misused as a tool amounting to censorship but I ll footnote excellent reasoned uotes from a nonfiction book about the cultural revolution changing this country since the 1960s as well as two late iconoclastic hyper intellectuals David Foster Wallace and Christopher Hitchens The narrator is Roth s alter ego Nathan Zuckerman Roth based the novel on an incident involving his friend a professor at Princeton University Silk resigns his post in anger and raises the stakes and ire of campus feminists when he starts dating an illiterate but intelligent female custodian who s about 30 years younger than he is she s 34 She has a former lover who has serious issues arising from his stint in VietnamThe piercing irony is in Silk s disclosure that he is an African American who s been passing as Jewish and white since he served in the Navy He married a white woman and had 4 children with her His wife recently died and he never told her or the children of histheir ancestry Silk decided to take the future into his own hands rather than to leave it to an unenlightened society to determine his fate Zuckerman frames novel and retells the back story in flashbacks as conveyed to him by Silk Against a present backdrop of the 1998 Oval Office Orgasm Scandal of former President Bill Clinton Roth develops what I believe is his best novel one raising trusty old uestions of identity and self invention ie uestions of whether one can change the past Gatsby or whether the past is ever even past Faulkner in Reuiem for a Nun Two passages on these issues that I considered especially poignant were There is truth and then again there is truth For all that the world is full of people who go around believing they ve got you or your neighbor figured out there really is no bottom to what is not known The truth about us is endless As are the lies I couldn t imagine anything that could have made Coleman of a mystery to me than this unmasking Now that I knew everything it was as though I knew nothing Footnote on Political CorrectnessFrom Roger Kimball The Long March How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America As with most revolutions the counterculture s call for total freedom uickly turned into a demand for total control The phenomenon of political correctness with its speech codes and other efforts to enforce ideological conformity was one predictable result of this transformation What began at the University of California at Berkeley with the Free Speech Movement called by some the Filthy Speech Movement soon degenerated into an effort to abridge freedom by dictating what could and could not be said about any number of politically sensitive issues From David Foster Wallace Consider the Lobster and Other Essays There s a grosser irony about Politically Correct English This is that PCE purports to be the dialect of progressive reform but is in fact in its Orwellian substitution of the euphemisms of social euality for social euality itself of vast help to conservatives and the US status uo Were I for instance a political conservative who opposed using taxation as a means of redistributing national wealth I would be delighted to watch PC progressives spend their time and energy arguing over whether a poor person should be described as low income or economically disadvantaged or pre prosperous rather than constructing effective public arguments for redistributive legislation or higher marginal tax rates In other words PCE acts as a form of censorship and censorship always serves the status uo

Summary ï PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Philip Roth

The Human Stain

Etractores Su secreto escondido durante cincuenta años a esposa familiares y amigos servirá al escritor Nathan Zuckerman para reconstruir la biografía desconocida de Silk y entender cómo puede llegar a desenmarañarse una ficción de vida tan ingeniosamente armada A masterfully architected tale about race shame violence and remembrance The Human Stain is definitely one of Roth s masterpieces From its first pages the reader is drawn into the mystery of Coleman Silky Silk n Silkzweig and his tragic downfall The characters here are vibrant and real the descriptions terrifying at times but always captivating I found it hard putting this book down as I was relentlessly driven to want to know what happened the mark of truly great writing If you have never read Roth you can safely start with this one or American Pastoral and you will definitely want I just watched the movie from 2003 starring Anthony Hopkins as Coleman Nicole Kidman as Faunia Gary Sinise as Zuckerman and Ed Harris as Les It is a wonderful and accurate rendition of the book for the silver screen It can be watched before or after reading the book but I would suggest reading the book first

Philip Roth ☆ 5 Summary

«Una maravillosa historia donde coexisten el coraje y la decadencia la mentira y el pundonor la necesidad y el fracaso» José María Guelbenzu BabeliaEn el verano de 1998 el doble azote del puritanismo y la corrección política recorre Estados Unidos a causa del es All he d ever wanted from earliest childhood on as to be free not black not even white just on his own and free He meant no insult to no one by his choice nor was he trying to irritate anyone whom he took to be his superior nor was he staging some sort of protest against his race or hers He recognized that to conventional people for whom everything was ready made and rigidly unalterable what he was doing would never look correct But to dare to be nothing than correct had never been his aim The objective was for his fate to be determined not by the ignorant hate filled intentions of a hostile world but to whatever degree humanly possible by his own resolve Why accept a life on any other terms Coleman Silk went into the Navy as a Caucasian because his pigment allowed him to do so After a perceptive whore they are bona fide experts on the male anatomy in a brothel noticed something about his physiue that gave him away as black he was hurled from the establishment His girlfriend in college who thought he was white met his parents only to learn differently She after a moment of hysterics dumped him It wasn t hard to understand that life provided opportunities if the world perceived him as white The timely death of his father who would have put a kibosh on the whole thing gave him the freedom to choose His mother his brother and his sister were simply people that had to be carefully cut out of his life You don t have to murder your father The world will do that for you There are plenty of forces out to get your father The world will take care of him as it had indeed taken care of Mr Silk Silk married and landed a job at Athena College He advanced to the position of Dean of Faculty He was respected but as happens with most successful people he made enemies He also along the way had four kids which is four times that he was sitting in a waiting room offering up prayers to whatever deity would hear them with his fingers toes and everything else crossed hoping the baby would bewhite He dodged every bullet but as some wise man said there is always a bullet with your name on it Maybe it was just that he was old and didn t move as fast as he used to but the bullet that caught him and cost him his job was bordering on ridiculous Where was the man that intimidated his kids with words The father who never lost his temper The father who had another way to beating you down With words With speech With what he called the language of Chaucer Shakespeare and Dickens With the English language that no one could ever take away from you and that Mr Silk richly sounded always with great fullness and clarity and bravado as though even in ordinary conversation he were reciting Marc Antony s speech over the body of Caesar I don t think he took it seriously How could anyone He was calling roll call for a class and noticed that two people were gone again and had been gone since the beginning of the uarter Does anyone know these people Do they exist or are they spooks They were both black students Silk is charged with racism and dismissed I ve never really understood the derogatory connotations of using the word Spook in regard to a black person Wouldn t it make sense for black people to call white people spooks I believe the term came into usage as a way to scare white children a ghost that would get them who had never seen a black person Regardless it does exist and any reasonable well educated person knows the word as a derogatory term when referring to people of color The problem with this charge of racism is intent If Silk had known the students were black would he have used the term To me it was just a moment of levity out of frustration about students that weren t attending class The problem is when your life is words you must select them carefully The irony of course is that he can t reveal his most important secret even for the defense of his career Although that does beg the uestion can t a black person make a racist comment against another black person It can get rather confusion about who is capable of being guilty of what especially when race is indeterminate Silk s wife dies and he believes the scandal killed her He goes off the rails accusing practically everyone he knows as being part of a grand conspiracy against him I sympathize because most of the time I feel the same way but I know they will slap a strait jacket on me and throw me into the nearest rubber room if I give them proper opportunity He actually finds a much fun way to put the final nail in the coffin of his reputation He seventy two starts having sex with a thirty four year old illiterate janitor and part time milk maid at the local dairy He reuires the help of the miracle drug of the 20th century Thanks to Viagra I ve come to understand Zeus s amorous transformations That s what they should have called Viagra They should have called it Zeus Silk is falling in love with Faunia but she sets him straight He d said to her This is than sex and flatly she replied no it s not You just forgot what sex is This is sex All by itself Don t fuck it up by pretending it s something else All is going well well that s not true His kids are not speaking to him and he is receiving rebuking letters from his former colleagues most by the way who he had hired as Dean of Faculty His biggest problem is Fauna s ex husband Les Farley a Vietnam vet who is as stable as nitroglycerin He is less than thrilled that his ex wife is blowing a seventy two year old man The war warped him in a way that can never be planed straight After the government trained him to be a killer and allowed him to embrace all his worst impulses by giving him the authority to shoot anything that moves with a machine gun from a helicopter they gave him two hundred dollars and a pat on the back for his service to his country See ya Les Good luck back in the real world Back in the real world he can t eat at a Chinese restaurant without wanting to kill the waiter This story is set against the backdrop of the Clinton impeachment and Roth is able to worm into the text the opinions of various people about Slick Willie and Monica Lewinsky Silk s own perceived indiscretion becomes magnified for the community already reeling from a President who nearly went down because the Essence of Bill was discovered on a navy blue dress At thirty four Fauna had been around the block a few times For anyone to think that Silk was taking advantage of her was ludicrous At what age does someone pass over the barrier of being able to be taken advantage of by someone older than themselves Aren t people close in age as capable of taking advantage whatever that entails as someone twenty thirty forty years older There are so many great discussion points in this book You might even find the needle has moved on something you think of as a core belief I m always uestioning why I believe something and books like this put hockey puck ideas in my mind that bounce carom and sometimes hit the net proving that nothing is as firm a belief as I think it is If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

10 thoughts on “The Human Stain

  1. says:

    ”All he’d ever wanted from earliest childhood on as to be free not black not even white just on his own and free He meant no insult to no one by his choice nor was he trying to irritate anyone whom he took to be his superior nor was he st

  2. says:

    Here's what I know if a book features some old dude fucking some younger lady check the author's age 100% of the time he's the same age as the old dudeThe younger woman will be vulnerable She will be attracted to the older m

  3. says:

    See I was an enormous fan of the Tony Hopkins Nicky Kidman film already But incredibly that adapatation was just the tip of an iceburg so rich complex incredible that is Philip Roth's masterpiece The Human Stain The film fails oh so miserably to fulfill at least 40% of the emotional clout which is significant and HEAVVVY famously a

  4. says:

    Hey Roth I know you have a great vocabularyJust tell me a damn story Let me explain I just read a very positive review of this book stating that Roth has such an expansive vocabulary and every word seems painstakingly cho

  5. says:

    Shaming Censors of Academic Speech A Pox on the PC PoliceMy favorite Roth novel I will miss the lusty old tale hound “I'm

  6. says:

    I read Roth’s Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint in college and loved them They were funny especially in depicting the lusts and lives of young men with literary flair But I didn’t read him again for no particular reason until relatively recently Maybe it was something to do with my feeling tired of

  7. says:

    Philip Roth dealing with serious topics at this noveldiscrimination shame identity and judging othersthe human between the truth rumors and illusionshow hard to truly know someoneand how hard to live in a circle

  8. says:

    The author sums it up perfectly on page 81You area a verbal master of extroadinary louatiousnessP Roth So Perspicatios So fl

  9. says:

    A masterfully architected tale about race shame violence and remembrance The Human Stain is definitely one of Roth's masterpieces From its fir

  10. says:

    “The danger with hatred is once you start in on it you get a hundred times than you bargained for Once you start you can't stop” ― Philip Roth The Human StainReading Roth is almost a spooky sexual experience I say that knowing this will sound absurd trite and probably hyperbolic But with Roth his words are imbued w