Counter-reading Kepesh: textual subversion in Philip Roth’s 'The dying animal'

Witcombe, M (2015) 'Counter-reading Kepesh: textual subversion in Philip Roth’s 'The dying animal'.' Litteraria Pragensia, 25 (49). pp. 60-72. ISSN 0862-8424

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Philip Roth's 2001 novella 'The Dying Animal' has attracted an increasing level of critical attention in recent years. Much of the resultant research has attempted to grapple with the distinctive manner in which Roth's narrator, David Kepesh, describes his experiences - often as a counterpoint to initial scepticism over the value of the text itself. Following on from this trend, this essay argues that Roth's novella can be reinterpreted as a multifaceted, even anti-misogynist text through a close reading of Roth's use of language and characterization. Focusing first on how Roth uses terms of address in the novella and concluding with an analysis of several minor characters, it becomes possible to detect methods of "counter-reading" which Roth's text actively encourages. Through a complex depiction of his narrator-protagonist's wilful ignorance, Roth consistently undermines the claims to authority that his character appears to be making - playfully subverting his own text as he does so.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 10:40
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:51
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