Monday, February 22, 2010

Saul Bellow


Saul Bellow

This might not be the book to pick up if you are feeling a bit down right now. It took me a really long time to finish these 354 pages. Although there are gold leaves dripping all over the place I felt quite drained. But what about picking up on some of the gold leaves and remember the book by these;

Professor Herzog had the unconscious frankness of a man deeply preoccupied.

He went on taking stock, lying face down on the sofa. Was he a clever man or and idiot? Well he could not at this time claim to be clever.

But his sexual powers had been damaged by Madeleine. And without the ability to attract women, how was he to recover?

A scandal was after all a sort of service to the community.

Looking for happiness - ought to be prepared for bad results.

I´m not even greatly impressed with my own tortured heart. It begins to seem another waste of time.

People greatly respected in their generation often turn out to be dangerous lunatics.

...How paradoxical it is that a man who uses heroin may get a 20-year sentence for what he does to himself.

Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power.

I understand that Madeleine´s ambition was to take my place in the learned world. To overcome me... as queen of the intellectuals, the castiron bluestocking. And your friend Herzog writing under this sharp elegant heel.

I look at myself and see chest, thighs, feet - a head. This strange organization I know it will die. And inside - something, something, happiness...."Thou movest me."

"Herzog" was published in 1964, and one of the timely subjects it describes is how men "were" really frightened by the power Women suddenly had in the "learned world". Herzog (former Professor) had been deceived and trampled on and goes completely under. He writes awkward opinionated letters to all whom he knows, living or dead.
I actually thought he was going to fade away by the end. His humiliation is crumbling him and not one of his moves seem to make his situation better. Frustrating, to follow this character through his downfall, but you still can´t help but to take short breaks to indulge the sentences and feel slightly richer by it all as well.

Saul Bellow received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976;

"For the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture
 that are combined in his work"

Champagne breeze: Herta Muller

Champagne breeze: Herta Muller