Tag Archives: Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow’s Hunger for the Universal

At Bellow’s memorial meeting, held in the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street, two years ago, the main speakers were Ian McEwan, Jeffrey Eugenides, Martin Amis, William Kennedy, and James Wood. Had it not been for … Continue reading

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The Long Life by Helen Small

Plato thought 50 an appropriate age to begin the study of philosophy. The Long Life is Helen Small’s pre-emptive (she admits to 42 at the time of writing her book) appraisal of old age in Western philosophy and literature. Each … Continue reading

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Reading and Premeditation

There are book bloggers I admire for their unfaltering dedication to a premeditated sequence of reading. Though I enjoy planning my reading, impulse often overtakes my carefully nurtured plans. This post is a corrective for me, an attempt to continue to … Continue reading

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A Year of Reading: 2010

It’s been a memorable year in my reading life, more concentrated than most years. The high points have been extraordinary, the lows few and forgettable. The unexpected revelation of my year are the novels, letters, essays and diaries of Virginia … Continue reading

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The Victim by Saul Bellow

Bellow’s first two novels are considered acts of apprenticeship. The writer “called Dangling Man his M.A. and The Victim his Ph.D.” Both offer high promise for my ongoing immersion into Saul Bellow’s novels. Reading The Victim brought to mind John Schlesinger’s film … Continue reading

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A Crowd of Souls

Today’s reading of Saul Bellow’s The Victim offered up this evocative sentence: The mass of passengers on the open deck was still, like a crowd of souls, each concentrating on its destination. In this case the destination was Manhattan, but … Continue reading

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Fellahin and Fleeing Trains

Three chapters into Saul Bellow’s The Victim, and I keep flicking back to read his opening paragraph: On some nights New York is as hot as Bangkok. The whole continent seems to have moved from its place and slid nearer … Continue reading

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Dangling Man by Saul Bellow

“Just as, according to Proust, all Dostoevsky’s novels could well be called Crime and Punishment and all Flaubert’s L’Education Sentimentale, so all Bellow’s could be called Dangling Man.” I don’t know how difficult it was for Saul Bellow to find … Continue reading

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Rue St-Dominique, Montreal

In Dangling Man, Saul Bellow’s narrator writes in his journal, recalling a childhood in Montreal. The description is so potent that I had an immediate urge to make a virtual visit. I have never found another street that resembled St. … Continue reading

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Halfway Through Dangling Man

Written in 1944, Saul Bellow’s Dangling Man begins, “There was a time when people were in the habit of addressing themselves frequently and felt no shame at making a record of their inward transactions. But to keep a journal nowadays … Continue reading

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