Audiobooks The Professor of Desire: A Novel (English Edition) – Intimatenights.co.uk

The Professor of Desire: A Novel (English Edition) Philip Roth s The Professor of Desire is the story of an adventurous man of intelligence and feeling trying to make his way to both pleasure and dignity through a world of sensual possibilities Temptation comes to him in both ordinary and spectacular forms, and the novel charts the history of his desire from the early years, when he accedes to it totally, to the time when he attempts to domesticate his passions and his wife s and finally to that most surprising moment when desire ebbs and, frighteningly, seems on the brink of disappearance The book explores, in all its painful ramifications, the pursuit and loss of erotic happinessAmong the variety of places that comprise this world of sensual possibilities are the mountaintop resort hotel where David Kepesh spends his boyhood, the college in upstate New York where he begins life as a passionate man by describing himself to coeds he hopes to seduce with Lord Byron s dictum, studious by day, dissolute by night a basement flat in London, where he lives with two Swedish girls, one of whom he even thinks fleetingly of turning into a prostitute Drawing back from all that he comes to recognize as dangerous in himself, he takes up a serious, responsible vocation as a professor of literature but then, later, in California, takes up with Helen Baird, a young woman in flight from her own adventurous years in the Far East, which culminated in a narrowly aborted murder plot against her lover s wife David marries this woman whom he thinks of as a heroine, courageous in her sensual abandon as well as in her renunciations The marriage, always at cross purposes, ends in disaster Back now in New York City, Kepesh falls into a state of spiritual despair and physical impotence over the unhappiness he has caused himself and others In his small sublet apartment he entertains his aging parents, who are puzzled by the course their only son s personal life has taken While a persistent homosexual stranger conducts a ridiculous siege outside the door, and a champion womanizer attempts to reconvert him to satyrism, David himself wonders about his future as a lover of anyone Then he meets Claire Ovington, a loving and orderly young teacher, the most extraordinary ordinary person I ve ever met While in Europe on a romantic holiday, they travel to Kafka s grave in Prague, and afterwards, asleep in his mistress s arms, David dreams of a bizarre encounter with Kafka s whoreFinally, in a rented Catskill house not far from the resort hotel where he was raised, David and Claire spend an idyllic summer, seemingly blessed by permanence and love Kepesh s widowed father arrives for Labor Day weekend, with his friend, a concentration camp survivor who has become old Mr Kepesh s dearest companion Their presence reinforces David s growing sense of the fragility of all existence, and in the last third of this novel in a long conclusion that may be as moving as anything in contemporary fiction Roth brings together all the strands of Kepesh s story in final scenes that are distinguished by an incomparably elegiac tone In THE PROFESSOR OF DESIRE, Roth intertwines three subjects These are the academic travails and career of professor David Kepesh the struggle between the professor s lustful nature and his search for love in marriage and the simultaneous closeness and distance that exists between the sophisticated professor Kepesh and his parents, who owned a hotel in the Catskills.For each of these subjects, Roth shows a professor Kepesh who is highly conflicted As a lustful young Fulbright scholar, for example, Kepesh connects to two Swedish college students As a m nage a trois, they push the boundaries of sex, expressing a need deep in David But in doing so, Kepesh loses his academic focus and becomes obsessed with the anguish the m nage inflicts on one partner Later, Kepesh marries Helen, who is an image of female perfection and an apparent solution to his sexual and marital desires But Helen is unhappy in mundane marriage and tortures David, makes him impotent, and causes him to behave strangely with his pupils Ultimately, Kepesh is able to sublimate his intense sexual drive, creating a great books course where sex is the preoccupation of each author But such sophistication separates him from his salt of the earth parents And, it does nothing to accommodate professor Kepesh to the ordinariness of a steady relationship and mature love.TPOD is an engrossing book but ultimately very sad, with Kepesh identifying dynamics in his life that resemble the literature of Chekov where characters are quietly unsatisfied and Kafka where a blocked and distorted sexuality often energizes the narrative Says the professor of desire And this life I love and have hardly gotten to know And robbed by whom It always comes down to myself IM COLLECTING Philip Roths book, this one a lovely hardback , reading a roth book is like entering a room and the heating switches on a roar of warmth and intimacy like a best friends.xx I really enjoy Roth s writing Such a fine observation of the human conditions of love, generations, possibilities Some moments of exquisite poetry but with a good pull of narrative too Learned much about myself from reading this. Just an okay read Don t know what all the fuss is about concerning Mr Roth Plenty of better American authors out there.

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