Goodbye Columbus by Phillip Roth
Goodbye Columbus was the feature story in a collection of short stories published by Phillip Roth when he was 26, and he has now just celebrated his 80th birthday. I have read the story again and again and I see more and more symbolism and metaphors each time I read the story. A great short story and it continues to stand the test of time and inspire many other young writers.
It is clear from these stories and his style has been and will always be a writer’s writer. Meaning that not only do his stories entertain the casual reader, but a writer can see and feel the building of the story revealed in the subtle symbolism. It is a well-crafted story, that builds from the first few lines to a dramatic ending for two self-absorbed young adults.
It was writing in a time, we no longer inhabit, but the messages and symbolism are still current. Read it the first time for the enjoyment – then read some of the “analysis” of the story – much of it stinks – and re read it again to see how the symbols of the fruit, the home on the hill, the art book, the water, her glasses, all hit at the deeper currents of the narrative.
Read and enjoy.