There’s only one problem with this: Roth’s open letter is at best the (justifiably) aggrieved and confused ramblings of a man ignorantly discussing what he does not understand or remember, and at worst a deliberately malicious act inspired by nothing more than a misguided desire to flip us the Vs and maybe get paid by the New Yorker on the way. Lets go through his account again, shall we? I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. False. There was absolutely no misstatement in the article. What the article claimed at the time he wrote this open letter was that “Kakutani and other critics were struck by the parallels to the life of Anatole Broyard, a writer and the New York Times literary critic in the 1950s and 1960s who was of Louisiana Creole mixed-race descent and passed for white”. This is entirely correct. Kakutani was struck by the parallels, and has stated this, as have Brent Staples in the New York Times and several other literary reviewers and authors.So, the defense is:
- Some people had indeed the impression that there were parallels different from those that Roth himself reports. And Wikipedia reported the fact that someone had such an impression.