Philip Roth: The Jewish Shouting Club Remix

Last September in the LA Times, James Marcus interviewed 75 year-old author Philip Roth about his new book, “Indignatgion.” During the conversation, Marcus and Roth discussed movie adaptations of his novels:

Indignation will be the fifth of Roth’s novels to be made into a film. I ask what he thought of the earlier adaptations, and he gives high marks to Jack Klugman and Ali MacGraw in Goodbye, Columbus, while ruefully acknowledging the cartoonish tone: “A little vulgarity goes a long way, and they did lay it on pretty heavily.” And what about Ernest Lehman’s version of Portnoy’s Complaint, which brought back Richard Benjamin for a second turn as the author’s cinematic proxy? “Unspeakable,” Roth declares. “It’s a movie about shouting. Jewish shouting.” (He proceeds to give a brief, comical example, which strikes me as a specimen of literary history, like Thoreau demonstrating how to peel the bark off a birch tree.)

Marcus seems to have been very impressed by Roth’s subsequent sound bite because he then remixed it into a short dance number that has been described by the Guardian as “the ringtone of choice among hip literary types this summer.” The mix been posted online by US independent publisher Melville House, which as Marcus describes, is always “on the alert for booty-shaking literary artefacts”. Marcus promises that should the mp3 file become popular enough, he will turn it into a 15-minute dance track and soon we will be entertained by the image of David Kelsey, Muffti and Eli Valley body rockin’ to the insane ululations of a 76 year old Jew writer. So yeah, listen to and download the track here!

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  1. James Marcus

    6/30/2009 at 7:51 am

    Love the graphic! Can I use it for the club mix?

  2. Larry

    6/30/2009 at 10:25 am

    Indignation as a film?? Oh no. It worked as a mini novel, but as a film.. no way. on the other hand, can I play the butcher/father?? or perhaps a professor in Ohio?.. okay, let see. we cast Shia Lebuff (or whatver his name is) as the virginous protagonist, and some actors from Gossip Girl as his Ohio roommates, me as his father, Kelsey grammar as the school’s President.

  3. ck

    6/30/2009 at 10:38 am

    James, I would be honored. Just don’t forget to thank Jewlicious! Can’t wait to hear the Club mix!

  4. James Marcus

    6/30/2009 at 1:24 pm

    Credit where credit is due, of course–and that picture really is a zinger. They should use it on the dust jacket of Roth’s next novel.

  5. Mike Darnell

    7/1/2009 at 10:41 am

    So is he 75 or 76?
    …and thanks for a great post : )

  6. James Marcus

    7/1/2009 at 5:00 pm

    Roth, who was born on March 19, 1933, was 75 when I talked to him last year. Now he’s 76.

  7. James Marcus

    7/30/2009 at 9:46 pm

    The extended mix is now available here, for people who just can’t get enough of Roth’s exquisite vocalise:


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