There's a short interview with the prodigious Philip Roth in today's "New York Times." You can read it here.
Roth gave up writing about five years ago and just recently, at the age of 80, he decided to re-read the 31 books he's written from 1959 to 2010 to "see whether I'd wasted my time."
Here's Roth's summation, in his own words:
“My conclusion, after I’d finished, echoes the words spoken by an American boxing hero of mine, Joe Louis. He was world heavyweight champion from the time I was 4 until I was 16. He had been born in the Deep South, an impoverished black kid with no education to speak of, and even during the glory of the undefeated 12 years, when he defended his championship an astonishing 26 times, he stood aloof from language. So when he was asked upon his retirement about his long career, Joe sweetly summed it up in just 10 words. ‘I did the best I could with what I had.’”
There's a lot of bullshit in our world, as in all worlds.
There's a lot of puffery, pomposity, bluster and bombast.
There are a lot of people who get ahead primarily because they kiss executive ass. Or they truly believe that their shit doesn't stink.
There are scores of dickwads, pretenders and outright frauds who somehow have the ability to fail upward, each failure leading to further success.
That's just the way of the world.
All we can do is hope for a future Karmic reckoning.
And continue to do the best we can with what we have.