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By Philip Roth
Like a latter-day Gregor Samsa, Professor David Kepesh wakes up one morning to discover that he has been reworked. yet the place Kafka’s protagonist became an immense beetle, the narrator of Philip Roth’s richly conceived delusion has develop into a 155-pound lady breast. What follows is a deliriously humorous but touching exploration of the complete implications of Kepesh’s metamorphosis—a bold, heretical ebook that brings us nose to nose with the intrinsic strangeness of intercourse and subjectivity. “The Breast is brilliant . . . creative and sane and extremely humorous. The trick that is the guts of the e-book is very good . . . and wealthy with meaning.”—John Gardner, the recent York instances publication evaluation “Hilarious, severe, visionary, logical, sexual-philosophical; the finishing amazes—the comic story takes 3 steps past savagery and satire and becomes a sublimeness of pity. One understands whilst one is analyzing whatever that might completely input the culture.”—Cynthia Ozick
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Extra info for The Breast
My nipple is rosy pink—like the stain on the base of my penis the evening this all occurred to me. because the apertures within the nipple supply me with whatever like a mouth and vestigial ears—at least it has appeared to me that i'm capable of make myself heard via my nipple, and, faintly, to listen to via it what's going round me—I had assumed that it was once my head that had develop into my nipple. however the medical professionals finish another way, not less than as of this month. For something, my voice, faint because it is, obviously emanates from the flap in my mid-section, whether my feel of inner panorama doggedly maintains to affiliate the better features of realization with the body’s topmost aspect. The medical professionals now preserve that the wrinkled, roughened dermis of the nipple—which, admittedly, is exquisitely delicate to the touch like no tissue at the face, together with the mucous membrane of the lips—was shaped out of the glans penis. The puckered pinkish areola encircling the nipple is related to have metamorphosed from the shaft of the penis lower than the attack of a volcanic secretion from the pituitary of “mammogenic” fluid. high-quality lengthy reddish hairs expand from one of many small elevations at the rim of my areola. “How lengthy are they? ” “Seven inches precisely. ” “My antennae. ” The bitterness. Then the disbelief. “Will you pull one, please? ” “If you love, David, I’ll pull very lightly. ” Dr. Gordon wasn’t mendacity. A hair of mine were tugged. a well-known adequate sensation—so widely used that i wished to be useless. after all it used to be days after the change—the “change”! —before I even regained cognizance, and one other week after that earlier than they'd inform me something except that I have been “very ailing” with “an endocrine imbalance. ” I keened and howled so wretchedly every time I woke up to find anew that i couldn't see, scent, flavor, or movement that I needed to be saved less than heavy sedation. whilst my “body” used to be touched, I didn’t understand what to make of it: the feeling was once without notice soothing, yet far-off, and jogged my memory of water lapping at a seashore. One morning I woke up to consider whatever new occurring to me at one in all my extremities. not anything like pain—rather extra like pleasure—yet it felt so unusual simply to suppose that I screamed, “I’ve been burned! i used to be in a fireplace! ” “Calm your self, Mr. Kepesh,” a girl acknowledged. “I’m simply washing you. I’m basically washing your face. ” “My face? the place is it! the place are my hands! My legs! the place is my mouth! What occurred to me? ” Now Dr. Gordon spoke. “You’re in Lenox Hill health facility, David. You’re in a personal room at the 7th ground. You’ve been right here ten days. I’ve been to determine you each morning and evening. you're getting good care and the entire cognizance you require. at once you’re simply being washed with a sponge and a few hot soapy water. That’s all. Does that damage you? ” “No,” I whimpered, “but the place is my face? ” “Just enable the nurse wash you, and we’ll speak a bit later within the morning. you need to get all of the relaxation you could. ” “What occurred to me? ” i may be mindful the discomfort and the fear, yet not more: to me it had felt as if I have been being many times shot from a cannon right into a brick wall, then marched over by means of a military of shoes.