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La lezione di anatomia (Zuckerman Bound #3)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,982 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Zuckerman, per cui la vita coincideva con il lavoro, è incapace di scrivere una sola riga. Adesso il suo lavoro è correre da un dottore all'altro, ma nessuno è in grado di elaborare una diagnosi credibile del male, e nessuno può eliminare le fitte di dolore. Zuckerman si chiede se tutto questo soffrire possa essere causato dai suoi stessi libri, dalla letteratura. E intant ...more
Paperback, ET Scrittori, 239 pages
Published October 15th 2007 by Einaudi (first published 1983)
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(showing 1-30)
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Michael Finocchiaro
This is the funniest of the Zuckerman Unbound tetrology and a fantastic read. Again, Nathan is living in the aftermath of the publication and scandal surrounding his book Carnovsky (Portnoy's Complaint in Roth's real life). He is in constant physical pain with 4, then 5, mistresses and decides to drop writing and go to medical school in Chicago. In Chicago, his female limo driver Ricky is treated to his impersonation of a literary rival who Nathan transforms into a pornographer. This is a wonder ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
“Pain is like a baby crying. What it wants it can't name.”
― Philip Roth, The Anatomy Lesson


The Anatomy Lesson is book # 3 in the Zuckerman Bound trilogy. The first two being The Ghost Writer and Zuckerman Unbound. The Prague Orgy is also included often, as it is the epilogue (thus turning the trilogy into a tetralogy.

Anyway, like all of the Zuckerman novels, Roth is brutal in his introspection. Zuckerman has bottled up his anger at his moralist critics and mental anguish at the death of his pa
Nov 05, 2015 Giovanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La lezione di anatomia è una grande domanda sul dolore. Su un dolore fisico che non dipende per forza, freudianamente, da cause psicologiche, ma che obbliga Nathan Zuckerman a fare i conti con la sua vita, con quella che è stata e con quella che sarà. La sua vita di scrittore, infatti, l'ha portato a ripiegarsi su se stesso (fino a farsi venire mal di schiena), l'ha spinto a spremere tutta la sua interiorità. Non scrive più da quattro anni, non ha più niente da scrivere su di sé, non riesce a sc ...more
Oct 07, 2007 Joeji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring writers and doctors
What is perhaps so striking about this book is that Philip Roth depicts an aging writer who, because of undiagnosed physical pain, has stopped writing filling his world with doubt and despair. Zuckerman's pain is very much an investigation of Roth's own biographical highlights. Roth too recovered from surgery, stopped finding writing worthwhile, and was attacked over and over again for his most infamous novel Portnoy's Complaint i.e. "Carnovsky." So disillusioned with writing is Zuckerman that h ...more
Jul 14, 2007 Ja'net rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If the first half of this book didn't exist, the book would've earned three/three and a half stars. But the first 150 pages or so are completely unfocused, boring, and incredible (though I've heard much of what happens in the book actually happened to Roth in real life--a claim that is irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned)that I nearly hurled this book across the room at several points during my arduous attempts at finishing it. The Anatomy Lesson was my first and LAST experience with Roth.
Feb 18, 2016 Lobstergirl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Dr. Pier Cristoforo Giulianotti
Shelves: fiction

Nathan Zuckerman is forty, married and divorced three times. Both his parents are now dead, his mother from a sudden brain tumor. His brother isn't speaking to him. His brother's wife only utters the most rudimentary comments - out of fear of being quoted in Zuckerman's next novel. Zuckerman has severe writer's block, and severe pain in his neck, back, shoulders. He spends much of the day down on a "playmat" in his apartment, being sexually serviced by four or five different women, and servicing
Aug 23, 2007 R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grief-stricken sons, doubtful writers
Shelves: 2007
Perhaps...perhaps the comparisons to Kafka aren't entirely unjustified.

My "problem" with approaching Roth has always been the instinct that his books were about him.

Well, no surprise: they are. Or at least this one is.

Even the dialogue comes off sounding like he's sitting there at his typewriter, furiously talking to himself putting the anger into Zuckerman's voice, and the dissenting opinion into the voice of the Female Who Adores Him.


Or, more correctly:

"Jews push!"
"Jews pul
Oct 04, 2008 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was arguably a mistake to read "The Anatomy Lesson" without first reading the previous two books in the Zuckerman series, but the third installment works fine on its own, especially if the reader has a working knowledge of Philip Roth's own history. One can easily mentally replace "Carnovsky," the book for which author Nathan Zuckerman became famous, with Roth's own "Portnoy's Complaint," and all becomes clear. (I read "Portnoy's Complaint" many, many years ago, but it's not a book one quickl ...more
I liked this but it was just too long. I enjoyed 'The Ghost Writer' and 'Zuckerman Unbound' because they were both short and easier to absorb. This one is twice the length and that is twice as long as I wanted to spend in the poisonous world of Nathan Zuckerman. About halfway through I stopped caring about Zuckerman: I wished he would just go and kill himself so I could be finished with the story. But on it goes for another 100 pages...

As usual with Roth, he lightens things up with some comic mo
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

As regular visitors know, I'm in the midst of reading all nine of the autobiographical "Nathan Zuckerman" novels that author Philip Roth has penned over the decades, from 1979's The Ghost Writer to 2007's Exit Ghost. And that's because, as a newish book critic (only three years full-time now), I'm continua
Justin Evans
May 17, 2010 Justin Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Far and away the most rewarding of the first three Zuckerman books. Is that because Roth is just a less cliched character as he gets older? I find that hard to believe. But it makes me wonder- if you're writing what is essentially autobiography, and you're committed to not lying, how hard is it to attain any artistic unity? Not sure Roth did it in the Ghost Writer or in Z. Unbound; here he manages a bit better. Maybe that's just because the Portrait of the Young Artist thing of GW is mind boggli ...more
In my review of the previous volume of the Zuckerman Bound series, I noted that I had just finished Updike’s Bech stories, and how Zuckerman wasn’t as woman-focused as Bech was after they both reached fame from their first books, and I wondered if in the next volume, this book, Zuckerman would take a turn toward womanizing. I can tell you that I feel my “prediction” was correct, although with Zuckerman it doesn’t seem as much about love or lust, but it seems to be strangely medical. Zuckerman ha ...more
Jan 22, 2010 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I continue to get sucked in by Roth -- a phrasing that Philip would indeed love, as I discover more and more his exploration of the themes of not only his Jewishness but that of sexuality. In general this book covers themes that his earlier works has as well, but what I'm really loving (especially with the Zuckerman series) is his method of playing around with the writer's mentality as Zuckerman (the fictional writer) explores his work and his art and its effect as a way of mirroring his own (Ro ...more
Saverio Mariani
Il miglior libro della (virtuale, ma manco tanto) trilogia che ha come protagonista Nathan Zuckerman. Rispetto a Lo scrittore fantasma e a Zuckerman scatenato, qui Roth ha un unico obiettivo: una freccia è piantata in un albero ed egli le gira intorno, sviscerandocene tutte le sfumature. Zuckerman soffre di un mal di testa-collo che lo blocca non solo fisicamente, ma anche nella scrittura. Il successo di Carnovsky è ancora un fardello, ed infatti egli dà la colpa di questo dolore alla scrittura ...more
May 11, 2007 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: roth-zuckerman lovers
this is the conclusion to the first zuckerman trilogy of roth's series. From what i understand, this first collection of zuckerman books (continued with The Prague Orgy) is more about the life of the artist and the writing process and the lows and highs of being a popular author. Contrary to this, the later zuck books actually expand from these themes and deal with characters other than zuckerman himself. Of these first three, i found zuckerman unbound to be the most entertaining to read. it was ...more
May 25, 2015 Martin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are parts of the book that are worthy of four stars, but they were few and far between. As with the previous Zuckerman novels, it improved greatly as it progressed, but the first third of the novel I found incredibly tiresome. I hate it when authors have to respond to their critics within their books (I found it petty when Tina Fey responded to internet commenters in 'Bossypants' as well), and having a literary alter ego respond to a fictional critic is one of the most trifling acts I can ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the first half of the book, I thought this was going to be my favorite Zuckerman book. Nathan Zuckerman, put down by some serious pain that no one had been able to find the source of, stoops to the level of possibly letting happen what he'd been resisting through Zuckerman Unbound, and that was becoming his own character, Carnovsky. Like the previous book, Zuckerman still has some struggles with his fame, but some passages are LOL-funny. The extrmism and downright horniness of the writing be ...more
Jeremy Allan
Do you pinch your arm to try to distract yourself from the pain of a stubbed toe?

Warning: you may start to feel sympathetic pain if you set this book down midstream. It's as if Nathan Zuckerman will leave you alone only so long as you keep on with his narrative. Otherwise, he'll start to project his suffering on you, until you've finished the novel.

My father says, "Roth can be an acquired taste." I believe everything my father says, but especially in this case. So, if you don't like Roth, fine
Krok Zero
Nov 10, 2008 Krok Zero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fall-2008
As always, Roth's prose is breathtaking, and engaging every step of the way. But I'm getting awfully tired of whiny-ass Zuckerman. It's amazing how Roth keeps finding new ways to weave innumerable handsome sentences out of what are essentially the same three or four of Zuckerman's problems. I found it amusing that Zuck's big goal is to escape the solipsistic life of the novelist, while this novel—The Anatomy Lesson—is built entirely on a foundation of solipsism. Obviously Roth knows that, so I g ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
Nathan Zuckerman and his doppelganger Philip Roth have grown on me. While not exactly likable, Nathan at age 41 in this installment of the Zuckerman trilogy helped me to understand the method of Roth's fictions. They are totally centered in one single consciousness. I guess that should be obvious, but somehow the intensity of Nathan's ruminating and suffering here made the obvious hit me over the head. There was a funny section (both ha ha and strange)in this novel that showed how the novelist c ...more
Jul 21, 2008 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beckett agonistes
Accurate title ... I don't really want to talk about it, and maybe it should have rated three stars for its lack of narrative cohesion ... but who else can attempt to write a comic novel about back pain and end up collapsing in a cemetery and breaking everything but his teeth, then somehow those as well. Do I feel sorry for Zuckerman? Is his Jewish, heterosexual-identified body more fragile than my own? (We both have experienced jaw-wiring and fellatio, in this case even toyed with as an *active ...more
Sep 25, 2008 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If one forgets that Zuckerman had six more proper books, “Anatomy Lesson’s” ending could serve as a fitting coda to the (in that case) Zuckerman trilogy. Like “Unbound,” it is a very navel-centric work, settling scores with the intellectual New Yorkers who turned on Roth in the late 50’s and early 60’s. To some extent, it is a literary kin to Dylan’s post-folk work, when he broke with a similarly angry group of New York Jews, a mix tape of “Positively 4th Street,” “Fourth Time Around,” “Sad Eyed ...more
Mar 23, 2007 Ioana-Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Part of the Zuckerman trilogy). Zuckerman is one of Roth's first-person narrators. He's a successful writer who hasn't written in a long time. He has a constant back/neck pain, so he spends his days lying down on a mat, trying to juggle his three mistresses. To ease his pain, he takes painkillers, drinks votca, and smokes pot. In his delirious attempt to change his life, he takes a trip which will change his life. (Not really, it just sounded cool to write that.)
Jul 10, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be my favorite of the Zuckerman series. Maybe even one of Roth's better books outside of ones like "The Plot Against America," "American Pastoral," and "The Human Stain." Extremely visceral at times, yet wonderfully comedic at others. At the core, the mental torment the narrator struggles with seems more fully realized than in many other Roth books. I certainly wasn't expecting to get this much. A must read for any Roth aficionado.
Jul 24, 2008 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1983
Just when I thought Roth couldn't take his Zuckerman hall of mirrors any further, he does. This is the most metafictional of the series, so far.

For my complete review:
Carlos Fonseca
Os admiradores de Roth talvez ficassem indignados com o 3 que dou ao livro. Mas, na verdade, depois de ter lido "A Mancha Humana" soube-me a pouco esta "Lição de Anatomia".

Talvez o próximo Roth, que já está na fila de espera, me reaproxime do autor.
Noah Dropkin
The third book in the Zuckerman collection. I wasn't my favorite. Not nearly as creative as the first one and a bit too self-absorbed for my tastes. I like Roth a lot but in this book he is too wrapped up in the aftermath of his own writing of Portnoy (Carnovsky in the novel).
Adam Dalva
Pretty much the opposite of unbound - starts out really strong (writing about pain and mother) and then tails off. It's still good though, it just starts to drag.
Jan 23, 2008 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love all the Nathan Zuckerman books.
Michael Battaglia
After you've managed to become successful, achieve fame, and tangentially stuff your parents into guilt-encrusted wheelbarrows and push them all the way down the road that we all must one day go, what do you do for an encore? Why, how about develop a debilitating degree of chronic pain that refuses all attempts at a cure?

Poor Nathan Zuckerman. As a burgeoning writer he should have realized that the events of "The Ghost Writer" were a metaphorically laced warning as to a possible path for himself
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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
More about Philip Roth...

Other Books in the Series

Zuckerman Bound (4 books)
  • The Ghost Writer
  • Zuckerman Unbound
  • The Prague Orgy

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“This is what you know about someone you have to hate: he charges you with his crime and castigates himself in you.” 12 likes
“Without an old country link and a strangling church like the Italians, or the Irish, or the Poles, without generations of the American forebears to bind you to American life, or blind you by your loyalties to its deformities, you could read whatever you wanted and write however and whatever you pleased. Alienated? Just another way to say 'set free.' A Jew set free from Jews - yet only by steadily maintaining self-consciousness as a Jew. That was the thrilling paradoxical kicker.” 0 likes
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