The writer Nathan Zukerman comes down with a mysterious physical affliction--pure pain, beginning in his neck and shoulders, invading his torso and taking possession of his life. Zukerman, whose work was his life, is unable to write a line. Now his work is trekking from one doctor to the next--from orthopedist to osteopath to neurologist to psychiatrist--but none can find a cause for the pain and nobody can assuage it. So begins Philip Roth´s strangely comic new novel, The Anatomy Lesson . In it, we find Nathan Zukerman beset at age forty not only by his pain but by his past. He seriously wonders if he ought to be a novelist at all. At his wit´s end, bewildered by both the obstinate pain and the isolating profession, and unconsolable by his ´´harem of Florence Nightingales´´--Gloria, his accountant´s wildly mothering wife; Jaga, the depressed Polish refuge from the hair-treatment clinic (to add to his suffering, Zukerman is going bald); Diana, the distressingly self-possessed Finch College heiress; and the temptingly levelheaded painter Jenny--Zukerman tries to pin his catastrophe on some source he can confront. There is no shortage of candidates. Zukerman´s brother blames his acerbic best-seller Carnovsky, for ruining the lives of their late parents, and will have nothing to do with him. There´s the critic Milton Appel, once Zuckerman´s literary conscience, now his scourge--the Grand Inquisitor of Inquiry magazine, the New York Jewish cultural monthly. Searching desperately for a diagnosis that will lead to a cure, Zuckerman asks himself if the pain can have been caused by his adversaries, or by his astonishingly intractable grief for his mother, or by the disgust he has come to feel for the literary vocation he once loved. And while he is wondering, his dependence on painkillers grows into an addiction to Percodan, marijuana, and hundred-proof vodka. In the last half of The Anatomy Lesson, Zuckerman breaks out of invalid imprisonment in his Manhattan apartment and sets off on a journey to escape the pain, the adversaries, the grief, and the career--a journey into a new existence, a search for a ´´second life.´´ Persuaded that a doctor´s life is everything a writer´s is not, Zuckerman flies to Chicago with the intention of applying to medical school at his alma mater. Though the pain he encounters there is worse even than what he´s fled, the startling quest for the second life provides some of the funniest scenes in all of Roth´s fiction. With the serious playfulness and extravagant insistence characteristic of his work, Roth, in his fourteenth published book, presents an astonishing antithesis to The Magic Mountain: The Anatomy Lesson is a great comedy of illness. Roth´s strength has always been the ability to depict the boisterous, the farcical, and the extreme in human behavior while revealing at the same time a world that immediately strikes the reader as real--what the English critic Hermione Lee has called, in writing of Roth´s career, ´´a manner at once...brash and thoughtful...lyrical and wry, which projects through comic expostulations and confessions of the speakers a knowing, humane authority.´´ The Anatomy Lesson is one of Roth´s finest achievements in this vein--a comic masterpiece and brilliant finale to the Zuckerman trilogy.
The Anatomy Lesson: Philip Roth
The Anatomy Lesson:A Novel Philip Roth
The Anatomy Lesson:A Novel Nina Siegal
Lessons in Practical Anatomy:For the Use of Dissectors (Classic Reprint) W. E. Horner
Commissioned by the Amsterdam Surgeons’ Guild, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp was the first major Rembrandt work to catapult the young painter to international fame. Taking this painting as its inspiration, Nina Siegal’s novel The Anatomy Lesson opens on the morning of the medical dissection and follows several characters as they prepare for the evening’s big event: we meet Aris the Kid, a one-handed coat thief who is awaiting his turn at the gallows; Flora, the woman who is pregnant with his child and who hopes to save him from the executioner; Jan Fetchet, a curio collector who also moonlights as an acquirer of medical cadavers; René Descartes, who will attend the dissection in the course of his quest to understand where the human soul resides; and the twenty-six-year-old Dutch master himself, who feels a shade uneasy about this assignment. And in the twenty-first century, there is Pia, a contemporary art historian who is examining the painting. As the story builds to its dramatic and inevitable conclusion, the events that transpire throughout the day sway Rembrandt to make fundamental changes to his initial composition. Bringing to life the vivid world of Amsterdam in 1632, The Anatomy Lesson offers a rich slice of history and a textured story by a young master. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Nina Siegal, Bruce Mann, Emma Jayne Appleyard, Gildart Jackson, Steve West, Adam Alexi-Malle, Peter Altschuler, Hannah Curti. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/003786/bk_rand_003786_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.