Arnon Grunberg

Two dozen

I wised up

In today’s Herald Tribune: ‘Whether you’re interested in Philip Roth’s critical exegesis of “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” his contrarian take on “Freedom” or just curious to know what he thinks of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” his answer is likely to be the same: He probably hasn’t read them because he is no longer reading fiction at all. In an interview with The Financial Times, Mr. Roth, the ornery author more than two dozen novels (the FT credits him with 53 books) including “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “The Human Stain” and “Nemesis,” said that other people’s literary inventions are no longer part of his diet. “I’ve stopped reading fiction,” he said. “I don’t read it at all. I read other things: history, biography. I don’t have the same interest in fiction that I once did.” Asked why he came to this position, Mr. Roth said: “I don’t know. I wised up.”’

Many authors stop reading fiction at a certain age. Not reading fiction can be equivalent to not eating meat -- it is fashionable, it enhances your moral standing, it makes you look like a conscious citizen: "I don't smoke, I work out, I don't read fiction."
However, given the source the remark “I wised up” surprised me.