And you thought that only cyclists and swimmers (not Australians, of course) went in for performance enhancing substances? Think again:
The International Herald Tribune’s Peter Mehlman has outed Philip Roth as a dope fiend whose output must be helped along by something stronger than caffeine:
One writer, who requested anonymity to avoid seeming cranky, whispered, “Since I came out with ‘Bonfire of the Vanities,’ I’ve written two novels. Roth has churned out, what, 12? Do the math.”
Roth’s bulked-up output is not the only factor raising eyebrows. Most notably, his sentence structure has shown no signs of the usual age-related deterioration cited in medical literature.
At 64, some eight to 10 years after most writers betray noticeable passive voice, Roth completed his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “American Pastoral” (1997). One of the book’s astonishing sentences began with the words, “Only after strudel and coffee,” and ended nearly a full page later without even one dangling modifier.
No less a talent than James Joyce (in one of his more piquant observations) said: “By the age of 45, I knew I could no longer start a sentence with a mention of strudel. My fingers would want to do it but my mind just wouldn’t react.”
You can read the whole silly thing here.