Friday, July 10, 2009

saul bellow b. july 10th 1915

bellow, here, looking like mr sammler or charlie citrine.

my favorite books were humboldt's gift, herzog, mr sammler's planet, & henderson the rain king. he has a great run. he could be as funny as woody allen & as profound as any of the greats. he wrote late into his life but the later stuff seemed weak, exhausted. that run of four great novels was pretty impressive though. it's hard to forget the opening paragraph of his first great novel, the adventures of augie march:

"I am an American, Chicago born -- Chicago, that somber city -- and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent. But a man's character is his fate, says Heraclitus, and in the end there isn't any way to disguise the nature of the knocks by acoustical work on the door or gloving the knuckles."

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