Mourning the death of Philip Roth’s funny bone

Sam Anderson in New York Magazine:

Screenhunter_14_oct_09_1115Die-hard fans of Philip Roth’s Zuckerman series—the randy, highbrow hordes who storm bookstores for midnight-release parties dressed in Zuckerman’s signature turtleneck and loafers—should prepare to be heartbroken. In Exit Ghost, the series finale, Roth kills off everyone’s favorite character: the upstanding hero of his entire oeuvre, divining rod of his fictional vision, gushing fountainhead of the famous vitality, pulsing column of strength at the center of his books’ elaborate architecture, perpetually pumping piston of his ever-thrusting narrative engine—the main vein, if you will, of the author’s fully engorged imagination. But before I get myself blocked by your spam filter, let me just whip it out: Zuckerman’s mighty penis, conqueror of professional ballerinas and Hollywood beauties, is dead. After 71 years, literature’s most venerable tube steak has been reduced to “a spigot of wrinkled flesh.” The shaft has been given the shaft. There had of course been hints that this was coming—we knew he’d had prostate surgery—but nothing so vividly final as this…

More here.  [Thanks to Asad Raza.]