Oh, that New York Times. How hard it must be to fill those pages every day. But some days we get lucky and the editors push themselves onto new turf. As yesterday in the T Magazine, in a piece called “Old Books, New Thoughts.”
The article comprises seven writers reconsidering their earlier work, and this sentence alone—from Philip Roth, on the topic of Portnoy’s Complaint—made me grateful I’d stumbled on the piece.
While the protagonist may be straining to escape his moral conscience, I was attempting to break free from a literary conscience that had been constructed by my reading, my schooling and my fastidiousness — from a habitual sense of prose decorum.