Portnoy's Complaint

Front Cover
Random House, 1969 - Fiction - 274 pages
52 Reviews
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The groundbreaking novel that propelled its author to literary stardom: told in a continuous monologue from patient to psychoanalyst, Philip Roth's masterpiece draws us into the turbulent mind of one lust-ridden young Jewish bachelor named Alexander Portnoy.

Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933- )] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: 'Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient's "morality," however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.' (Spielvogel, O. "The Puzzled Penis," Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, Vol. XXIV, p. 909.) It is believed by Spielvogel that many of the symptoms can be traced to the bonds obtaining in the mother-child relationship.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - foof2you - LibraryThing

Interesting book about Alexander Portnoy and his complaint, actually should be, complaints. There are very many, his parents, religion, sex, his sex life all being told to his doctor. I would imagine ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bjkelley - LibraryThing

274 pages that turn out to be a rant to a psychiatrist. I read this book a few pages at a time and really enjoyed it. I can't imagine sitting down and reading it in one fell swoop. Looking forward to seeing the movie now and seeing how they adapted the book to the screen. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
11
Section 2
47
Section 3
56
Section 4
60
Section 5
61
Section 6
78
Section 7
79
Section 8
90
Section 15
190
Section 16
192
Section 17
199
Section 18
205
Section 19
210
Section 20
230
Section 21
232
Section 22
241

Section 9
107
Section 10
113
Section 11
121
Section 12
165
Section 13
180
Section 14
184
Section 23
248
Section 24
264
Section 25
274
Section 26
277
Copyright

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About the author (1969)

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004.” Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize.

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