Forgive me, my sons, for I have sinned

From The Guardian:

Philiproth1_2 For a decade now, we have lived with the glory of late Philip Roth. To punctuate his last four indelible novels of America and its discontents at the turn of the century, Roth has developed a periodic habit of making a sharp inward turn, an unblinking memento mori, as if to stir in himself the urgency for another major assault on his times.

The inward gesture was set in motion by the priapic Sabbath’s Theater, the book in which he asked himself, in part, whether he had still the potency for creation in the face of creeping mortality. He further interrogated that question in The Dying Animal and he gets even closer to the bones of it in this short, somewhat terrifying book. Everyman takes its title and its theme from the medieval play in which an unprepared sinner is informed by Death of his imminent judgment day. Everyman, in that 15th-century incarnation, is deserted as he faces his maker by first his friends and his family and then his wealth; these impostors are followed by his strength, beauty and knowledge. All that is finally stacked in his favour in the divine audit are his good deeds. It is not a cheerful tale.

Roth’s Everyman, who is godless and nameless, is already dead and nearly buried when we meet him.

More here.