NEWARK—After a literary career that began with 1959’s Goodbye, Columbus and has spanned the decades. Noted author and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Roth today announced that he was abandoning his more high brow literary pursuits to churn out some old hoary cack about vampires.
“I don’t know, I doesn’t seem like provocative explorations of what it means to be Jewish or of the American identity and blurring the lines between biography and fiction makes a guy a buck anymore,” the author explained in an interview with the New Yorker.
“So I’m just going to churn out some shit I thought up over lunch about vampires, teen romance, and epic battles over love and sit back and watch the money pile up. It’s pretty much what everyone else is doing. Why fight it? I don’t think I’m even going to make it all that different from Twilight.”
He sighed before adding “Ooh! Maybe a vampire school or a boarding school where vampires and humans meet! Has anyone done vampire style Harry Potter knockoff yet?”
Reaction from the literary world was swift with most surprisingly supporting the move.
“Frankly 90% of what I read is some awful re-purposed shit about forbidden love and euro-trash vampires that I’d appreciate reading what someone competent could do with a completely fucked out genre,” said Michael Kimmelman of the New York Review of Books. “Even if he is just nakedly slumming it for cash.”
Others, from the New York Times to McSweeney’s, offered support ranging from “Just don’t make them sparkle” to a fervent hope that Roth would attempt to tie his famed Nathan Zuckerman character into the new series of novels. Either by making Zuckerman a vampire, a vampire hunter, or recounting a romance had with a shiksa vampire in his youth.
“Zuckerman as a teacher at a school for vampires is the idea that has me most excited,” said Times literary critic Janet Maslin when contacted for this story.
When presented with some of these suggestions Roth reportedly yelled that they were all legally his and that he’d sue anyone who infringed on them.
But Roth’s recent foray into naked money grubbing is part of a larger trend in the literary world. Cormac McCarthy recently announced he was about to start work on a trilogy of books about werewolves, while Michael Chabon has reportedly cast his lot in with merpeople, hoping that will be the next genre to take off and set him up with a lucrative series of films.
Alice Sebold has quit writing books to becoming a staff writer on Two and a Half Men, while the estate of Roberto Bolano has unearthed a 1700 page novel entitled Star Wars Jedi War: The Mandalorians Revenge which will be released by Lucas Books and Ballentine by the end of the year.
“There’s just no money in integrity nowadays,” observed Harvard English Professor and Twilight fan-fiction writer Dr. Karen Whitman. “Sure you can try to putter around here and there writing the odd masterpiece of American fiction and getting a Pulitzer every couple of years, but where’s the money in that? Who wants to make a movie out of a heady tome about the immigrant experience in 1930’s San Francisco? Why not just crassly jump on board whatever is popular at the moment and ride that wave to the bank?”
“Like I wrote in my Twilight short story Love’s Bite, after Edward leaves Bella to marry the new, shy, mousy, literary girl Karen: ‘Sometimes you just gotta keep it real.’”
As of now Roth plans to have the first novel out sometime next month with four to follow by the end of the year. He says he hopes that his endeavors will lead to a movie company taking a chance on glomming onto the Twilight bandwagon and churning out a low budget competitor, but that he is, at the very least, hoping that these novels can be turned into a low rated drama for the ABC network.
“Fingers crossed,” Roth said. “Film or TV. I will tailor this bullshit to whatever medium will provide me the riches that being considered one of the greatest living writers has failed to.”