I began reading this as my first Philip Roth novel with several intentions but mostly to satisfy an ongoing interest in novels about loss. Those reasons were -
1) clarify the idea this was written by a misogynist
2) appreciate creative prose
3) understand self-emancipation through the particular outlet of Eros
I appreciate the relational aesthetic through which David and Consuela's interactions suggests there is a complex human drive to be understood for our qualities and physical appearance as they exist. David's defeat by Consuela's form portrayed a kind of pathological intoxication in how it progressed downwardly, awkwardly, and darkly, like an intense drug addiction leading presumptively to the reckless abandonment of decency. That quality of sickness made some parts of the story predictable but did not affect my plot speculations because the story managed to preserve a sense of randomness (that was solely governed by David's state of possession).
"The loveliest fairy tale of childhood is that everything happens in order" (p. 148) is probably my favorite line Roth uses to justify David's mentality as something actually complimentary to Consuela's storyline plight. David sort of colonized his own mind with the idea that physical perfection and immortality were somehow related to one another and while such mysteriousness was made manifest in the spectacular form of Consuela, it would somehow remain inconsequential.
The evolution of David's jealously was also quite interesting to behold because it was as insidious as it was clearly irrational. I love how his jealously was used to masquerade all of his peculiar behavior as if to introduce and delineate a new pathological syndrome. Roth does well in creating a stage that explores the ongoing complexity of human sexuality and the stupendously undying pledge of human allegiance to the quest of pleasure.
Struck me as kind of silly. Protagonist is too hedonistic to engender much sympathy.
This book is the work of a master. It is both insightful and intelligent. As well it should probably be read twice to appreciate the conceptual maturity of Roth. The Dying Animal is why we read. Great book.
Found this book to be magniloquent. Did not feel for the characters nor did I think the author conveyed his message in the best way. Very quick to read for anyone interested in the book.
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