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 become an immense beetle, the narrator of Philip Roth’s richly conceived fable has develop into a 155-pound woman breast. What follows is a deliriously humorous but touching exploration of the total implications of Kepesh’s metamorphosis—a bold, heretical e-book that brings us nose to nose with the intrinsic strangeness of intercourse and subjectivity. “The Breast is impressive . . . creative and sane and intensely humorous. The trick that is the center of the e-book is really good . . . and wealthy with meaning.”—John Gardner, the recent York instances ebook overview “Hilarious, critical, visionary, logical, sexual-philosophical; the finishing amazes—the shaggy dog story takes 3 steps past savagery and satire and becomes a sublimeness of pity. One is familiar with while one is examining whatever that would completely input the culture.”—Cynthia Ozick

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After one other week—making, for the list, an incubation interval of twenty-one days—I glanced down one night whereas moving into the bathe and found that throughout the stressful day of educating and meetings and commuting and eating out, the flesh on the base of my penis had became a coloration of faded crimson. Dye, I immediately determined, from my undershorts. (That the undershorts at my ft have been gentle blue intended not anything in that panic-stricken burst of disbelief. ) I appeared stained, as if something—a berry of a few sort—had been overwhelmed opposed to my pubes and the juices had run down onto my member, raggedly coloring the foundation. within the bathe I lathered and rinsed my penis and pubic hair thrice, then lined myself conscientiously from thighs to navel with a thick icing of cleaning soap bubbles that I proceeded to therapeutic massage into my flesh for a count number of sixty; whilst I rinsed with sizzling water—burning scorching this time—the stain used to be nonetheless there. now not a rash, no longer a scab, no longer a bruise or a sore, yet a deep pigment swap that I linked straight away with melanoma. It used to be simply middle of the night, the time whilst changes frequently ensue in horror stories—and a difficult hour to get a physician in manhattan. still, I instantly telephoned my surgeon, Dr. Gordon, and regardless of an try to cover my alarm, he heard the phobia simply sufficient and volunteered to decorate and are available throughout city to envision me. probably if Claire have been with me that evening rather than again at her personal residence getting ready a curriculum-committee file, i might have had the braveness of my terror and advised the healthcare professional to come back working. after all at the foundation of my indicators at that hour it truly is not likely that Dr. Gordon might have rushed me then and there right into a health facility, nor does it look from what we now know—or proceed to not know—that whatever might have been performed within the health center to avoid or arrest what was once below manner. The ache of the subsequent 4 hours i used to be to spend on my own may possibly possibly were alleviated by way of morphine, yet not anything exhibits that the process the catastrophe might have been reversed via any clinical technique in need of euthanasia. With Claire at my facet i would were capable of collapse thoroughly, yet on my own I all of sudden felt ashamed of wasting keep an eye on; it was once not more than 5 mins considering I’d found the stain, and there i used to be, rainy and nude on my leather-based couch, making an attempt vainly to beat the tremolo in my voice as I regarded down and defined into the telephone what I observed. Take carry, I thought—and so I took carry, as i will whilst I inform myself to. If it used to be what I feared, it might probably wait until eventually morning; if it wasn’t, it could actually additionally wait. i might be wonderful, I instructed the health care professional. Exhausted from a troublesome day’s paintings, I had simply been—startled. i might see him in his workplace at—I notion this courageous of me—about midday. 9, he stated. I agreed and, lightly as i may, acknowledged stable evening. now not until eventually I hung up and tested myself another time lower than a robust gentle did I keep in mind that there has been a 3rd symptom—aside from the tingling groin, and the discolored penis—that I had didn't point out to the surgeon; I had taken it, till that second, for an indication of health and wellbeing instead of of illness.

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