"All this sentiment. He wondered if it was only to compensate for the damage that he was reputed to have done her with the portrait of the mother in [his novel] Carnovsky, if that was the origin of these tender memories softening him up while he watered her plants. He wondered if watering the plants wasn’t itself willled, artificial, a bit of heart pleasing Broadway business as contrived as his crying over her favorite kitsch show tune. Is this what writing has done? All that self-conscious self-mining—and now I can’t even be allowed to take purely the shock of my own mother’s death? Not even when I’m in tears am I sure what gives”.
dice Phillip Roth en The Anatomy Lesson.