Like so many aspects of life-to-fiction, relationships are important in the real world, and so must have equal weight within a story.
Even a loner hero type who thinks he doesn’t need anyone must rely on others to help further the plot.
For Roiphe herself, however, it has been brewing for decades. She describes, for instance, Susan Sontag’s decision, when diagnosed with a terminal cancer at the age of 71, to opt for an agonizing, against-all-the-odds treatment.
, a novel in which both married women (Myrtle Wilson and Daisy Buchanan) are having affairs?The occasion is the publication of Roiphe’s new book, The Violet Hour, which looks at how five writers — Freud, Sontag, Updike, Dylan Thomas, and Maurice Sendak — dealt with the end of their lives.For those who think of Roiphe only as an unapologetic provocateur, perpetually irritating the women’s movement, the book’s subject may seem a departure.She is concerned not only with the traditional Lithuanian customs but also the manner in which the customs are carried out.Like Jurgis, in the beginning she has faith in hard work and believes individuals can achieve success and prosperity through their own efforts.
Freud, on the other hand, dying in London of cancer of the mouth and throat on the eve of World War II, refused painkillers in order to be clear-eyed and present for the last experience of his life.