“Then the ice breaks. I have brought to the interview copies of The Dying Animal and The Human Stain – two books about the relationship between an older man and a young woman. Why does that interest him? “Because it exists,” he says. I tell him about a huge scandal in Denmark in which a 68-year-old author has just been stripped of all honour. His crime: he wrote openly about a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old black girl in Haiti – the daughter of his servant. Punishment: public crucifixion, which can be really nasty, even in progressive Denmark. Roth wants to know everything about the story, every little detail. Then he says: “That author asked for it. Did he really write about how he had sex with the girl in his master bedroom? Yes, that’s interesting. It turned political. If it was an affair with a 25-year-old student at the university in Port-au-Prince, it wouldn’t have been a problem.”

Martin Johs. Møller skriver om det interview Martin Krasnik lavede med Philip Roth, der angiveligt har gjort sidstnævnte så gal at han overvejer at sagsøge førstnævnte.