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Philip Roth, who has died at 85, was a titan of post-War literature — by some assessments, the greatest of his generation. Across more than 30 books, he chronicled(वर्णन किया) the best and worst(सबसे खराब/निकृष्टतम) of America, looking things in the eye and telling it like it was, writing about flawed(दोषपूर्ण) beings(प्राणियों), their dreams and nightmares(बुरे सपने), sexual and other predicaments(मुश्किलों/कठिन परिस्थिति). Themes of betrayal(विश्वासघात), love and loss, alienation(अन्य संक्रामण/अलगाव की भावना),, the struggle(संघर्ष) between political correctness and the desire to let go of all inhibitions(स्र्कावट/संकोच)were common to his oeuvre(बाहर). Together with Saul Bellow and John Updike, Roth was considered the unflinching observer of 20th century America. Steeped in acerbic humour, which increasingly turned black, several of his best novels, including the American trilogy (American Pastoral, I Married a Communist and The Human Stain) were written in a stunning(शानदार/अजीब)late-career resurgence(पुनर्जीवन). The Pulitzer Prize-winning Pastoral (1997) told the story of Seymour Irving Levov, a good, family man living the American dream, or so it seemed. These were the post-Second World War years, and by placing Seymour in this era, Roth critiqued(आलोचना) the culture and politics of the time, leading up to the Vietnam war, with the sequels bringing the narrative arc up to the Clinton presidency. Nine of his novels featured his fictional alter-ego, Nathan Zuckerman (The Ghost Writer, Zuckerman Unbound, Exit Ghost), exploring almost every facet of his identity, from being Jewish to being a writer and a man. His “maleness” offended many readers, with his 1969 book Portnoy’s Complaint, about the young, middle-class, sex-obsessed Alexander Portnoy leaving critics happy and elders enraged. In 2012, Roth announced his retirement from writing. He said Nemesis (2010), about a polio epidemic in Newark, New Jersey, where he was born and which was the setting of many of his books, was his last. He said he had reread his favourite writers, Dostoevsky, Conrad, Hemingway, Bellow, and his own books, and thought he had had enough.

Writing on “behaviour in extreme situations” was Roth’s forte, tackling characters with “sheer playfulness and deadly seriousness”, recording “life, in all its shameless impurity(अशुद्धता /अस्वच्छता)”. His books can be classed under neat labels by the protagonist(समर्थक/प्रवक्ता) — Zuckerman, Roth (The Facts, Patrimony, to name two), Kepesh (The Breast, The Dying Animal) — and the four novels under ‘Nemeses’ which includes Everyman, a searing tale of life and death. Asked which were his favourite books, Roth mentioned two, Sabbath’s Theater (1995), the story of Mickey Sabbath, who is 64 going on 17, antagonistic(विरोधी/विपक्षी) and libidinous(संगी/कामी), which several critics hated, and Pastoral. In the Trump era, or in a divisive world for that matter, it is impossible to read his reimagining of history in The Plot Against America — what if F.D. Roosevelt had lost in 1940 and white supremacist Charles Lindbergh had won? — and not be touched by its eerieforeboding(पूर्वाभास/भविष्य-ज्ञान)



Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: erroneous, false, faulty, flawed, imprecise
Antonyms:, appropriate, correct, fitting, honest, just

Synonyms: deception, dishonesty, sellout, treachery, treason
Antonyms: , fidelity, frankness, honesty, loyalty, openness

Synonyms: reticence, self-consciousness, shyness, bar
Antonyms: advantage, aid, allowance, assistance, clearance

Synonyms: brilliant, dazzling, devastating, gorgeous, great
Antonyms: homely, insignificant, normal, ordinary, poor

Synonyms: abstracted, analyzed, considered, criticized, critiqued
Antonyms: unplanned

6.Impurity(अशुद्धता /अस्वच्छता
Synonyms: contamination, grime, pollutant, scum, adulteration
Antonyms: cleanliness, pureness, purification, purity, sterility

Synonyms: combative, hostile, inimical, unfriendly
Antonyms: agreeable, friendly, kind, nice



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