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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Zoë Roth

Roth, Zoe (2012). Against Representation: Death, Desire, and Art in Philip Roth’s The Dying Animal. Philip Roth Studies 8(1): 95-100.

Author(s) from Durham


In Philip Roth’s The Dying Animal (2001), desire is figured as the revenge of death for the aging libertine David Kepesh. Embodying the object of his desire as a work of art allows him to harmlessly enjoy the volupté of death. The mimesis of art, however, cannot offer protection against the eventual realities of living and dying. The recognition of mortality Consuela Castillo provokes in Kepesh is implicated in a formal stylistic process questioning the verisimilitude of representation and meditating on art’s mediation of experiences of death and desire.