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Philip Roth: The novel will be dead in 25 years

27th October 2009

Portnoy's Complaint author Philip Roth has predicted that the novel has less than 25 years left as a mainstream art form.

In an interview with news website Daily Beast, the writer claimed that the novel will only remain popular with a cult-like group of enthusiasts as more people turn their attention to media that require less concentration.

'[The novel] couldn't compete, beginning with the movie screen. It couldn't compete with the television screen and it can't compete with the computer screen,' the 76-year-old continued.

Roth explained that to read a literary work, people need to exercise a degree of attentiveness and focus, which is lacking in the majority of the public today, and claimed that innovations such as electronic book readers will not change this trend.

The author, whose latest work The Humbling is published later this month, also told the website that he still fears losing his inspiration despite having a celebrated writing career.

Over his career, Roth has won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997, the National Medal of Arts in 1998 and the Gold Medal in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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