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The Professor Of Desire

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  2,053 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
As a student in college, David Kepesh styles himself as 'a rake among scholars, a scholar among rakes' - an identity that will cling to him for a lifetime. As Philip Roth follows Kapesh from the domesticity of childhood out into the vast wilderness of erotic possibility, from a ménage à trois in London to the depths of loneliness in New York, Kapesh confronts the central d ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 5th 1995 by Vintage (first published 1977)
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Sandra
Dec 28, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
Il mio amore per Philip Roth è nato leggendo Pastorale americana e non è mai finito, è un amore scoppiato all’improvviso, un colpo di fulmine che ora è diventato un amore adulto e consapevole. Lui è un fallocentrico, un maschilista, ossessionato dal sesso e dalla morte, ed io lo amo perché nei suoi libri parla di me, della mia sporcizia, delle macchie che mi porto dietro, di cui egli ha detto in un altro libro che consiglio di leggere assolutamente, che sono la nostra impronta, l’unico mezzo per ...more
Simona
Oct 29, 2015 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi piace dividere quest'opera in due parti: la prima un po' noiosa e difficile da seguire, mentre l'altra parte è molto più scorrevole e i lettori fedeli ritroveranno il Roth che tanto amano.
L'immagine in copertina che raffigura Amore e Psiche di Antonio Canova, esemplifica molto bene la sintesi e il senso di questo romanzo. Amore e Psiche è perfetta per descrivere il desiderio, la passione, la sensualità che qui si rappresentano.
Roth guida il lettore alla scoperta dei propri piaceri, dei propr
...more
Μαρία Γεωργιάδου
Εν αρχή ην το Σώμα. Και μετά τι;
Roberto
May 18, 2013 Roberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il giovane David Kepesh è il primo della classe, serio, puntiglioso negli studi, lettore, pieno di certezze e di autostima. Ad un certo punto decide di impegnarsi nella sua vita sessuale con lo stesso impegno finora dedicato agli studi e comincia a tormentare tutte le ragazzine che gli vengono a tiro. Con risultati penosi, perché le ragazzine, la maggioranza delle volte, si stupiscono del suo cambiamento e lo rifiutano.

“Con una simile reputazione avrei dovuto ridurne centinaia al meretricio, men
...more
Laura
Oct 29, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing
the name of this book makes me giggle but nevertheless, very good. i really love roth. it will be sad when he dies. this review is useless.
Gina
Mar 27, 2015 Gina rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I don't understand the difference between "chick lit" and this. Boys write about love and sex and their relationships with their mothers just as much as all these modern day female authors who have to suffer the indignities of having their debut novel plastered with baby blue or pink illustrations and dumped into the Chick Lit ghetto at Barnes & Noble.

Roth's character David Kepesh is totally solipsistic, lovelorn and arrogant. This bordered on parody. "Jewish New York intellectual rants abou
...more
Saverio Mariani
Non c'è pace per i personaggi di Philip Roth che, forse un po' esagerando (giustamente), ci porta ai confini dell'umano, per mettere in risalto la capacità persuasiva che quei confini hanno sul quotidiano. David Kepesh è l'emblema dell'uomo che porta sempre il suo sguardo sulla soglia, a guardare ciò che nessuno vorrebbe vedere. Non si passa mai indenni da un romanzo di Roth, è sempre capace di farci domandare chi siamo davvero.
Straordinario.
SS
Feb 06, 2011 SS rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
This has no plot. This has no plot. This has no plot. A tedious novel, if it even is a novel rather than a series of pointless but amusing anecdotes about pretty flat, Dickensian characters (Bratasky, Abe Kepesh, Baumgarten).

Lots of great passages in here. but then again, as Roth so often writes, there are lots of passages that are unnecessarily fancy, many five-dollar words where a five-cent word would have sufficed. But even these sweeping sections do not make up for this thing barely even be
...more
Xenia Germeni
Aug 10, 2016 Xenia Germeni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ο πρώτος μου Roth. Χρειάστηκα χρόνο και απιστευτα ψυχικά αποθεματα για να μπω στον κόσμο του κυρίου Roth. Ο καθηγητης Κέπες είναι από τους ήρωες που με συγκλόνησαν και με αποδομησαν ψυχικά. Οι λαβύρινθοι του παθους και του πόθου για τον καθηγητη Κέπες δεν ανηκουν στη σφαιρα του φανταστικου, ειναι οι λαβυρινθοι της ανθρωπινης υπαρξης που ισορροπουν αναμεσα στο δεον και το ον, την επιθυμια και τις κρυφες σκεψεις, την ηδονη και τον πονο, τη μοναξια και την αναγκη για αγαπη και συντροφικοτητα, το πα ...more
Mark Wilkerson
Sep 15, 2012 Mark Wilkerson rated it really liked it
The Professor of Desire is a book that works for me because its protagonist, David, attempts to answer the questions that can hound, often subconsciously, readers of serious fiction, or readers of books that examine desire, love, and sex. David himself is dogged by these questions as he jumps (or, rather, slowly enters) new relationships with women. All of the women are very different in terms of looks, personalities, and views about sex in a relationship, and David explores how these women fit ...more
Karenina
Nov 15, 2010 Karenina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
Finalmente è stato ripubblicato quello che a mio avviso è uno dei migliori libri di Roth. Chi ci vede, riduttivamente e volgarmente, riproposto l’annoso maschile dilemma fra donne onorate e donne perdute gli fa un grosso torto; qui si tratta di compiacere e di riconoscere la propria natura e quindi accettarne le conseguenze in termini di problematicità dell’esistenza oppure accettare di “crescere”, rinunciare alle pulsioni e/o incanalarle in un rapporto finalmente adulto; inutile dire che Kepesh ...more
Jonathan Hiskes
Jun 30, 2012 Jonathan Hiskes rated it it was ok
Roth's novel brings to mind a line from Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars. An elementary school teacher is asked what students can learn from Shakespeare. Her immediate answer, the line I remember: "That we are made for more than our desires." Roth's protagonist comes off as little more than the sum of his untrained desires, which is a thin way to render a character.

The last ten pages or so function as a short story on their own, (which the protagonist notes), in which the professor takes care o
...more
Lucrezia
Apr 30, 2015 Lucrezia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo ammetto con questo libro non era partita granchè.
Fortuna che verso metà si riprende, e che ripresa.
Apollinaire
May 04, 2013 Apollinaire rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has wanted to like Roth but been exhausted by the monologuing
When, earlier this year, Roth announced he was done writing novels, I thought, “Oh finally.” I have my pet sexist pigs, but Roth is not one of them. Given the claustrophobic first person POV, his diminishment of women figures too largely to maneuver around.

So the 1977 “Professor of Desire” turned out to be a nice surprise. Sure, there’s the measuring of women’s desirability by the size of their breasts, but for leavening there are the intrusions of Professor Kepesh’s voluble, comically self-agg
...more
Manish
Oct 29, 2015 Manish rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, own, 2015, erotica
Roth can be an extremely corrupting influence if one is on the lookout for inspiration. David Kepesh is constantly tantalized by desire and is torn between the umpteen possibilities that can be thrown up by each pursuit. Three of his erotic relationships - a room mate with no inhibitions during his college days, a doomed marriage and a scholar who offers him some semblance of an emotional anchor form the main content of this otherwise 'plot-less' novel.

Roth cleverly ends the book with a sort of
...more
Paolo Gianoglio
Un libro sulla fatica di vivere, sulla fatica di trovare l’equilibrio, di rinunciare a qualcosa che ci attrae ma ci distrugge in favore di un quotidiano tran tran che ci annoia ma ci consola. Un libro non pienamente riuscito nella sua drammaticità, soprattutto nella prima parte è difficile seguire il protagonista nella sua strada di perdizione, per cui ad un certo punto il dilemma compare ma sembra più “descritto” che raccontato. Poi invece il libro evolve, si sviluppa su un piano leggermente di ...more
Cynthia Robinson
Sep 03, 2012 Cynthia Robinson rated it really liked it
I'm drowning sweetly in these words. I'm not even being romantic about this.
Samuel
Mar 26, 2013 Samuel rated it liked it
Uma nova tradução foi lançada recentemente com uma capa rosa e estrategicamente as livrarias o colocam próximo do 50 tons de cinza. O preconceito natural que eu tive pelo livro foi rompido graças à escolha do clube de Leitura da Livraria Cultura de Salvador no mês de março.

Apesar do título e da capa, não diria que o livro é "sexualizado". As capas antigas de algumas edições em português e inglês são bem conservadoras inclusive. Não lembro de ter lido nenhuma cena explicita de sexo e mesmo quand
...more
Kyle Shroufe
This is currently my favorite Roth novel (I havn't read them all yet) and it is what made me a true believer in his work. I found this novel which is actually a sequel to "The Breast" (Roth's "Metamorphasis" double that has David Kepesh turned into a 155lb breast) I find it somewhat strange that not many reflections on his experiance in "The Breast were eluded to in this sequel. Regardless this is one of the most sexually, not promiscuous, but aware novel that I have ever read. I found myself re ...more
Stefania T.
"- Non riesco a mantenere un'erezione, dottor Klinger. Del resto non riesco neppure a mantenere un sorriso -."

Il fratellastro mediocre di "Lamento di Portnoy": la penna diabolica di Roth riesce comunque a sfornare pagine di assoluta brillantezza (come suono no-io-sa) per acume e per stile, pagine che se staccate materialmente dal libro non impallidirebbero affatto al cospetto dei grandi capolavori cui ci ha abituati come clienti fedeli di uno spacciatore.

"Per me i libri, i miei inclusi, contano
...more
Jim Leckband
Jun 05, 2013 Jim Leckband rated it really liked it
Dum-dum-dum-dummmm. If you say the previous syllables out loud you probably can figure out one of the most recognizable pieces of music in history (besides, of course, "Ooops, I Did It Again"). Beethoven created his fifth symphony out of four stupid notes. From almost any other composer the result would be "BBBBBorrrinng" as Baumgarten in this book would blurt (and using the same descension by a minor third as LvB did). But the symphony isn't boring, not by a long shot, and neither is "The Profe ...more
Amin
Dec 11, 2012 Amin rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book shows the extent to which Roth knows one of life's most important parts, desire, and proves his brilliance in giving loyal utterance to the reality he has absorbed from his own life. The story is actually the history of David Kepesh's sexual desire, its ebb and flow, its hope and desperation, its deception. Roth's scrupulous psychological realism and attention to detail in his description of desire and its rise and fall is amazing. His working into the texture of the story an omniprese ...more
cheeseblab
It was when I read the then-new American Pastoral that I exclaimed of Roth, "He has grown up!" Here, I suspect, is where that process begins. As with the dispiriting My Life as a Man, we have a protagonist dealing with a Medea-esque castrating harridan, but by the end of this one, there is at least a shred of hope that dealings between the sexes won't always and inevitably be catastrophic emotional sieges. A shred. A start.

Actually read this in the 3rd volume of the Library of America edition, e
...more
rmn
Apr 13, 2013 rmn rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Much like Roth's famous Alexander Portnoy character, Professor Kepesh, the protagonist of this novel, struggles with the constant battle between the id and the Super Ego (something to which Roth's Mickey Sabbath simply gave in Roth's later writings) in man's Kafka-esque struggle to fit in to the norms of society (which is likely why Kafka figures greatly in to this book, including the main point of study of Professor Kepesh's work).

While the novel is a bit more subtle than other Roth novels and
...more
Maria Beltrami
Ideale prosecuzione del Lamento di Portnoy, del quale condivide la genesi nella famiglia ebraica americana, Il professore di desiderio inizia la parabola introspettiva che ha allontanato definitivamente Roth dai suoi inizi pirotecnici.
E infatti se all'inizio del romanzo il protagonista è un buffone, a un certo punto svolta, e diventa sempre più introspettivo, e si lascia segnare dai suoi numerosi fallimenti, che hanno tutti a che fare con i rapporti con l'altro sesso, fino a quando troverà la do
...more
Rosalba
Apr 21, 2013 Rosalba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
.....ma come puoi cambiare idea su quella che è la tua natura?

Capii che quando si ama, nei propri ragionamenti su questo amore bisogna partire da qualcosa che sta più in alto, che è più importante dei concetti di felicità o infelicità, di peccato o di buona condotta nelle loro accezioni correnti o non bisogna ragionarci affatto.
Mike
Oct 16, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is:

1) As purely delightful a novel as Roth has written, one of the very strongest of his early novels 2) As harrowing a novel of addiction as The Gambler or Hangover Square 3) A wonderful palette-cleanser after running the gauntlet that is Gaddis's JR.
Oriana
Oct 20, 2015 Oriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Narrazione spietatamente sincera del vero totem del nostro tempo: il sesso. Splendida scrittura di Roth.
Josh
Oct 28, 2016 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I am not opposed to books about writers, nor books set in academia, and in fact both are rich imaginative areas for Roth-- though this particular book was a little too thinky for it to work for me. That the novel intellectualizes carnal desire is, I understand, part of the point, but there disconnect between visceral subject matter and aloof telling made it hard for me to get into. As always, though, there are a number of haunting and beautiful passages, and even second- or third-tier Roth is st ...more
Michael Battaglia
Years ago the local public library that I worked for was putting some paperbacks up for sale that had been donated. A couple of them were Philip Roth novels and as I'd heard he was a fairly important 20th century author, I snagged a handful to put in my queue. One of them "Goodbye, Columbus" I eventually read but the other had such a goofy title and a cover that made the battered paperback look like something utterly tawdry that I couldn't bring my mid-twenties self to actually read it, and woun ...more
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Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained early literary fame with the 1959 collection Goodbye, Columbus (winner of 1960's National Book Award), cemented it with his 1969 bestseller Portnoy's Complaint, and has continued to write critically-acclaimed works, many of which feature his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. The Zuckerman novels began with The Ghost Writer in 1979, and inc ...more
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