Portnoy's Complaint

Paperback | September 20, 1994

byPhilip Roth

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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.

With a new Afterword by the author for the 25th Anniversary edition.

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From Our Editors

From the couch of his psychoanalyst, Alexander Portnoy starts confessing to everything from an adolescent preoccupation with masturbation to the relative enslavement imposed by his dominating mother. Portnoy's Complaint is an uproarious spin through the mislead life of a man riddled with guilt for what he is. This modern classic is a c...

From the Publisher

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 th...

From the Jacket

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 t...

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...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.7 inPublished:September 20, 1994Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0679756450

ISBN - 13:9780679756453

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From Our Editors

From the couch of his psychoanalyst, Alexander Portnoy starts confessing to everything from an adolescent preoccupation with masturbation to the relative enslavement imposed by his dominating mother. Portnoy's Complaint is an uproarious spin through the mislead life of a man riddled with guilt for what he is. This modern classic is a comical take on the Jewish-American experience, told with Phillip Roth's great wit and a keen sense of inanity.

Editorial Reviews

"Roth is the bravest writer in the United States. He's morally brave, he's politically brave. And Portnoy is part of that bravery." —Cynthia Ozick, Newsday "Deliciously funny...absurd and exuberant, wild and uproarious... a brilliantly vivid reading experience."--New York Times Book Review"Simply one of the two or three funniest works in American fiction." —Chicago Sun-Times"Touching as well as hilariously lewd.... Roth is vibrantly talented...as marvelous a mimic and fantasist as has been produced by the most verbal group in human history." —Alfred Kazin, New York Review of Books