Roth Nobel Snub Fury

October 9th, 2014 § 4 comments

The morning started with HG in a fury. Once more the Nobel Prize committee rejected Philip Roth, HG’s favorite author. Sheer injustice. There is no living author who has produced a body of work to match Roth’s. Yet year after year the Nobel officials reject Roth for the literature prize. SJ has suggested that there is the whiff of antisemitism in the rejection, a sense that enough Jewish authors have won. Maybe? In HG’s youth, HG confronted injustice with direct action on the picket line and in physical confrontation. Now, as a member of the “golden years” population, HG seeks solace in food, wine, strong spirits, New Mexico sun and vistas. And, of course, HG’s good fortune in having BSK, a loving family and a recent addition– Toby, The Wonder Dog. Tonight, HG will hope for better literary judgement in the future and soothe HG’s abraded feelings with Craig Claiborne’s Mississippi smothered chicken. The late Claiborne was a pioneering restaurant critic with the New York Times and author of some very good cookbooks. Claiborne’s chicken recipe calls for a three-pound chicken to be spatchcocked (backbone removed). The flattened chicken is placed skin side down in cast iron pan with sizzling butter. Weighted down with a plate and a five pound object (brick, tomato cans, etc.) so the skin is in direct contact with the pan. Chicken is removed and a roux is made with flour, pan juices and fat, chicken broth. Chicken is put back in the roux and cooked some more until tender. (Check here for a precise recipe). HG does not favor roux. Instead, HG will use white wine, mustard, pan juices, a squeeze of lemon, a few capers and 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch (as a modest thickener). Reduce it all. Enjoy it with BSK’s smashed potatoes, sugar snap peas, ripe heirloom tomato salad, A robust red wine. Fury will subside. Pleasure will rule.


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§ 4 Responses to Roth Nobel Snub Fury"

  • Hungry Gerald’s anger is not misplaced. Apart from his huge talent at making emotions jump off the page, Roth has no equal in diligence. For many a decade, he worked daily at the typewriter, and perhaps gave up some mainline pleasures (children!) out of devotion to the written word. Who more qualified for a Nobel Prize?

  • Dave Henley says:

    Of interest, perhaps. In our travel group in Spain was a retired professor from UConn, who has known Roth for many years and who edited his novels for the Library of America. Ross Miller, the fellow’s name, is a nephew of Henry Miller. Ross Miller was to be Roth’s biographer, and essentially lived in Roth’s home for 5 years. Ross Miller is a very friendly guy, and intelligent. We were somewhat kindred spirits on this trip to Spain, with Ross’s interests in history and literature, particularly history as it was lived out by Jews locally, in villages of Castilla y León and environs, at the time of the Reconquista and after. Per Ross Miller, he and Roth had a falling out because Roth insisted on editorial control over every word. Ross Miller insisted that PR’s direct involvement would detract from the validity of the work, making it a memoir rather than a biography. Their inability to agree on this led to Ross’s departure, on bad terms, and his replacement by the author doing the bio now (can’t remember the name), who, oddly, says it will take at least 15 years to finish (outliving Roth’s control?). PR retained and is allowing the new guy to have all the materials collected by Ross Miller. Per Ross Miller, the new guy called Ross’s daughter, a lawyer, on the phone, and asked to interview HER about the Ross/Roth relationship. She told him to fuck off. As an aside, Ross Miller’s first name, pronounced in Castilian Spanish, is “Roth”. I hope this posting is intelligible, given the similarities of Ross, Roth, and “Roth”.

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