“What I learned and what I failed to learn interests me, because, whatever I am, I am not an unbroken storyline.” Marco Roth read from his new memoir The Scientists: a Family Romance at BookCourt this past Tuesday night, during a storm that Roth commented was like something out of a Brontë novel. Inside, though, there were no winds howling over heathered moors. Just rain pounding down on a skylight—pounding, but not threatening. Inside, it was warm and inside it was dry and inside—where everybody seemed to know everybody else and to be happy to know everybody else—we were all laughing as Roth assumed a flawless English accent and became one of his characters—a man who was in the process of denouncing the American academic obsession with narrative—saying, “Our identities are supposed to have something to do with the stories we make up about ourselves or the stories we accept to have imposed on us. And our identities are supposed to be identical to who we are.”
Roth assumed his own voice again, the neutral-to-me accent of an Upper West Sider.
“And there’s something wrong with this?”