Talk about built-in irony: the class of tricky words known as “contronyms” can mean the opposite of what you think they mean.
But the truth is, there’s a reason most well-known writers still teach English. There’s a reason most authors drive dented cars. There’s a reason most writers have bad teeth. It’s not because we’ve chosen a life of poverty. It’s that poverty has chosen our profession.
I would argue that decent books coverage in a daily newspaper — especially when it’s presented in such a way that readers are likely to stumble over it and discover titles they might not otherwise have heard of — is more supportive of writers in the long run than a scholarship program.
“At 79, Roth is the celebrated author of 31 books (all of them impressive, many of them masterpieces), the winner of just about every major literary award but the Nobel, and though he has remained remarkably prolific, his four most recent novels have been brief, spare, and uncharacteristically quiet; reading them, one has the sense of looking through a camera as the aperture slowly contracts.”
Our own Panio Gianopoulos with a beautiful essay on Philip Roth’s declaration of retirement over at Salon. (And hey, there’s still a little time to get a signed first-edition of A Familiar Beast!)