BOOK REVIEW: THE HUMAN STAIN, A NOVEL BY PHILIP ROTH
Hello readers and happy Sunday! I hope you're enjoying your weekend. Today I'm back with a book review: The Human Stain by Philip Roth. I read this novel about a decade ago, but recently I found myself thinking about it again. Sometimes a book stay with you. The Human Stain is a wonderfully complex novel focusing of examination of race and identity, with some politics and human relationships thrown in the mix. I feel that in many ways this novel was ahead of its time. Just the other day, I stumbled on an old copy (with my old notes) and started reading it again. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to reread it just now, not cover to cover, but I suspect that some day I might do that. The review I will share today was written years ago, but I polished it a bit for this post.
AND NOW A BIT OF FASHION TALK (AND LINKS SHOWING HOW I WORE THESE ITEMS BEFORE, SUSTAINABLE FASHION ALL THAT....)
As for my outfit, this is just something I put together the other day for a coffee date with my husband. You might remember this blue Amadeus dress (link neither sponsored nor affiliated, it's there because I like this brand) from this post. As soon as I bought this dress, I came up with two ways to wear it. Since then, I have worn it a number of times (see HERE). Today my outfit proposal is all about playing with accessories. I layered several necklaces with this dress (all of them are old). I've been meaning to do the layered necklace thing for a while, but forgot. As teenager in late nineties and early zeroes, I wore the layered necklace look to school every single day. I used to make necklaces too, so it's been odd how I almost stopped wearing necklaces. Anyhow, I kept the rest of the outfit simple by opting for a straw bag in earthy tones and a brown pair of heeled sandals. I'm pretty sure I'm up to 30 wears with this pair of sandals, but I need to check my fashion archives to make sure. There might be a post about them one of these days. Scroll to read more.
MAKING FUN OF THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY IN STYLE
I quite enjoyed the abundant social satire in The Human Stain, especially when it was directed towards the academic community. I mean, anyone who makes fun at academic community so brilliantly has my praise. If anyone needs some reality check, it's that kind of snobbish professors. Although that's not at all what the novel is about, it's certainly one part of the puzzle. Roth is so good at making fun of everything that it can be distracting. Nevertheless, there is truth in his humour- before you know it, you realize that it's often the kind of stuff that makes you think. His humour can be dark at times but so is his view of the world. This is a writer that's not afraid to dig deep. Again not the most important aspect of novel, but something I really liked is an attractive amount of social commentary and political satire. I do like when there is some quality social commentary in a book. One doesn't come across it as often as one would like. It seems that Roth really knows what he is writing about. Whether he researched this particular time period and place or relied on memory, he really captures the atmosphere and the politics of the time.
AN OPEN CRITIQUE OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
Among other things, this novel heavily criticizes political correctness. More than being a mere critique of political correctness, this book analyses it. The Human Stain shows how political correctness can be used as a tool (and indeed it often is). Sometimes forced political correctness can be used to undermine progress in the academic and science community. This novel was written years before the term 'cancel culture' came to existence, but it describes it perfectly. Looking back, I would say that it was really ahead of its time. After all, the principal character in this novel falls victim to cancel culture. An University professor is 'cancelled' because of just one wrong word. The fact that he didn't mean anything by it or even that the world has multiple meanings doesn't pardon him in the eyes of the public.
AN OBJECTIVE NARRATOR THAT TELLS THE TALE OF COLEMAN SILK