Few men have lived who could be said to be more vile, repugnant, and just plain unlikable than Roth's Mickey Sabbath. Why then is it so hard to dislikFew men have lived who could be said to be more vile, repugnant, and just plain unlikable than Roth's Mickey Sabbath. Why then is it so hard to dislike this man? Roth could make Stalin into a sympathetic character. Not even the staunchest of the world's crummy Stalinists can make such a claim for themselves.
A bit of a side note (and perhaps a bit of a spoiler): I found it ironic, and a little disheartening, that as I'm approaching my own golden shower I'm reading Sabbath's Theater and what should I find but the master himself doing the exact same thing. Now, I wasn't in anyway surprised by this. I've read quite enough of his books by now to know that he's unafraid to touch on most subjects, particularly those that might be considered taboo.
My thoughts were along the lines of, Having just read this and knowing that I am supposed to do the same thing here shortly, how do I contend? How do I contend with this, and how do I keep his scene far enough out of mind that I don't wind up unintentionally plagiarizing the man?
All in all, I don't think it's so bad. I don't consider myself a great writer by any stretch of the imagination, and I think that in reading this I might have picked up a thing or two on how to do my own scene that it might be better than it would have originally. There's a humanity present here that I'm not sure I would have had the awareness to impart to my characters in such an instance. So now, rather than having my Leona simply piss all over Jim, I know that it has to be more, it has to feel real. It has to feel human. Which is great, because that is ultimately what I'm striving for....more