Portnoy’s Complaint – still shocking at 40

From The Guardian:

Philip-Roth-in-1968-002 In 1969, Philip Roth's most famous character, the sex-obsessed Alexander Portnoy confessed to his analyst: “What I'm saying, Doctor, is that I don't seem to stick my dick up these girls, as much as I stick it up their backgrounds – as though through fucking I will discover America.” That was 40 years ago, but the reverberations are still being felt. Portnoy's Complaint, which the New Yorker greeted as “one of the dirtiest books ever published”, helped Roth shake off any lingering respectability he had earned from his early novels. “Enough being a nice Jewish boy, publicly pleasing my parents while privately pulling my putz!” cried Portnoy from his analyst's couch. As he did so, Roth was denounced by leading Jewish figures, while critics went wild and the novel became an instant bestseller. The respectable boy from Newark, New Jersey had embarked on his lifelong work refining what has been called his art of immaturity.

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