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Philip Roth

Introduction to A. Word Smith, narrator

Smitty’s curse (the labor of writing)

Literary allusions and references provided

The lie of Hall of Fame “memories” is revealed

The history of the Patriot League explained

Characters of General Oakhart, Gil Gamesh, and Ulysses S. Fairsmith and Glorious Mundy introduced

Explanation of stadium sale and Mundys’ homeless condition

Introduction of assorted odd-ball Mundys players

Losing, synthetic Wheaties, and sexual escapades are a focus

Team and league begin an inevitable slide of deterioration

The new leader of the team Gil Gamesh and the innocent and honest Roland Agni are introduced

Team relies on dirty tactics and begins winning

Roland opposes the team’s new moral direction

Roland is assassinated in the middle of a game

Congressional investigations end with ten Mundys being imprisoned

League cities change their name: Port Ruppert becomes Newark, New Jersey

The possible inability to write the great American novel

The demythologizing of writing itself as myth

The difficulty of revealing truth in the face of mass deception

Memories as a means of retaining joy but from a wiser and more weary perspective

The limitations of literature to transform individuals and society

The ruin of baseball is akin to our own ruin as a society

All that is possible is temporary distraction from urban chaos

The outcomes of this book will more than likely result in the recognition and greater awareness of how many myths like the “American Dream” and “playing fair achieves success” are actually illusions more than reality. I think this because the part read up to now has demythologized capitalism, superstar athletic status, and other aspects of contemporary life. I also think that one of the themes of the book appears to be a demythologizing of how much a writer can transform through literature, so I believe the narrator will come t...

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Philip Roth. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:28, August 12, 2020, from