Saul Bellow
Overview
Saul Bellow was a Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

-born Jewish American writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

, the Nobel Prize for Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, and the National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the...

. He is the only writer to have won the National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

 three times, and the only writer to have been nominated for it six times.

In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
A Nobel Committee is the working body responsible for the most of the work involved in selecting Nobel Prize laureates. There are five Nobel Committees, one for each Nobel Prize....

, his writing exhibited "the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age." His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March is a novel by Saul Bellow.It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression...

, Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books....

, Herzog
Herzog (novel)
Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow. Letters from the protagonist constitute much of the text.Herzog won the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction and the The Prix International...

, Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet is a 1970 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. It was awarded the National Book Award for fiction in 1971.- Plot synopsis :Mr...

, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift is a 1975 novel by Saul Bellow, which won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and contributed to Bellow's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature the same year....

 and Ravelstein
Ravelstein
Ravelstein is Saul Bellow's final novel.Published in 2000, when Bellow was eighty-five years old, it received widespread critical acclaim. It tells the tale of a friendship between two university professors and the complications that animate their erotic and intellectual attachments in the face of...

.
Quotations

There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book.

Quoted by Granville Hicks|Granville Hicks in The Living Novel: A Symposium (Macmillan, 1957; digitized version in 2006), p. ix

All human accomplishment has the same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination. It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!

Henderson the Rain King|Henderson the Rain King (1959) [Viking/Penguin, 1984, ISBN 0-140-07269-1], ch. XVIII, p. 271

We are all such accidents. We do not make up history and culture. We simply appear, not by our own choice. We make what we can of our condition with the means available. We must accept the mixture as we find it — the impurity of it, the tragedy of it, the hope of it.

Great Jewish Short Stories, introduction to the Dell paperback edition (1963)

We mustn't forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals.

Herzog (1964) [Penguin Classics, 2003, ISBN 0-142-43729-8], p. 82

I think that New York is not the cultural center of America, but the business and administrative center of American culture.

BBC radio interview, The Listener|The Listener (London, 1969-05-22)

Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.

Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970) [Penguin Classics, 2004, ISBN 0-142-43783-2], p. 156

Once you had read the Sigmund Freud|Psychopathology of Everyday Life, you knew that everyday life was psychopathology.

Humboldt's Gift|Humboldt's Gift (1975) [Penguin Classics, 1996, ISBN 0-140-18944-0], p. 5

I never yet touched a fig leaf that didn't turn into a price tag.

Humboldt's Gift (1975), p. 159

No realistic, sane person goes around Chicago without protection.

Humboldt's Gift (1975), p. 452

Encyclopedia
Saul Bellow was a Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

-born Jewish American writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

, the Nobel Prize for Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, and the National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the...

. He is the only writer to have won the National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

 three times, and the only writer to have been nominated for it six times.

In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
A Nobel Committee is the working body responsible for the most of the work involved in selecting Nobel Prize laureates. There are five Nobel Committees, one for each Nobel Prize....

, his writing exhibited "the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age." His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March is a novel by Saul Bellow.It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression...

, Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books....

, Herzog
Herzog (novel)
Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow. Letters from the protagonist constitute much of the text.Herzog won the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction and the The Prix International...

, Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet is a 1970 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. It was awarded the National Book Award for fiction in 1971.- Plot synopsis :Mr...

, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift is a 1975 novel by Saul Bellow, which won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and contributed to Bellow's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature the same year....

 and Ravelstein
Ravelstein
Ravelstein is Saul Bellow's final novel.Published in 2000, when Bellow was eighty-five years old, it received widespread critical acclaim. It tells the tale of a friendship between two university professors and the complications that animate their erotic and intellectual attachments in the face of...

. Widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest authors, Bellow has had a "huge literary influence."

Bellow said that of all his characters Eugene Henderson, of "Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books....

," was the one most like himself. Bellow grew up as an insolent slum kid, a "thick-necked" rowdy, and an immigrant from Quebec. As Christopher Hitchens describes it, Bellow's fiction and principal characters reflect his own yearning for transcendence, a battle "to overcome not just ghetto conditions but also ghetto psychoses." Bellow's protagonists, in one shape or another, all wrestle with what Corde (Albert Corde, the dean in "The Dean's December") called "the big-scale insanities of the 20th century." This transcendence of the "unutterably dismal" (a phrase from Dangling Man
Dangling Man
-Plot summary:Written in diary format, the story centers on the life of an unemployed young man named Joseph, his relationships with his wife and friends, and his frustrations with life. Living in Chicago and waiting to be drafted, the diary acts as a philosophical confessional for his musings...

) is achieved, if it can be achieved at all, through a "ferocious assimilation of learning" (Hitchens) and an emphasis on nobility.

In 1989, Bellow received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. The Helmerich Award
Helmerich Award
The Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award is an American literary prize awarded by the Tulsa Library Trust in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is bestowed annually upon an "internationally acclaimed" author who has "written a distinguished body of work and made a major contribution to the field of...

 is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust
Tulsa City-County Library
The Tulsa City-County Library is the major public library system in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.-Overview:The library system serves those who live, work, go to school in, own land in, or pay property taxes on land in Tulsa County. There are 25 branches in the system: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,...

.

Early life

Saul Bellow was born Solomon Bellow in Lachine, Quebec
Lachine, Quebec
Lachine was a city on the Island of Montreal in southwestern Quebec, Canada. It is now a borough within the city of Montreal.-History:...

, two years after his parents emigrated from Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Bellow celebrated his birthday in June, although he may have been born in July (in the Jewish community, it was customary to record the Hebrew date of birth, which does not always coincide with the Gregorian calendar). Of his family's emigration, Bellow wrote:

A period of illness from a respiratory infection at age eight both taught him self-reliance (he was a very fit man despite his sedentary occupation) and provided an opportunity to satisfy his hunger for reading: reportedly, he decided to be a writer when he first read Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom...

's Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman....

.

When Bellow was nine, his family moved to the Humboldt Park
Humboldt Park, Chicago
Humboldt Park is one of 77 officially designated community areas located on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois. The Humboldt Park neighborhood is widely known for its large Puerto Rican presence...

 neighborhood of Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, the city that was to form the backdrop of many of his novels. Bellow's father, Abraham, was an onion importer. He also worked in a bakery, as a coal delivery man, and as a bootlegger. Bellow's mother, Liza, died when he was 17. He was left with his father and brother, Maurice. Maurice later married Joyce and they gave birth to Holly and David. His mother was deeply religious, and wanted her youngest son, Saul, to become a rabbi or a concert violinist. But he rebelled against what he later called the "suffocating orthodoxy" of his religious upbringing, and he began writing at a young age. Bellow's lifelong love for the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 began at four when he learned Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

. Bellow also grew up reading William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 and the great Russian novelists
Russian literature
Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union...

 of the 19th century. In Chicago, he took part in anthroposophical studies
Anthroposophy
Anthroposophy, a philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world accessible to direct experience through inner development...

. Bellow attended Tuley High School on Chicago's west side where he befriended fellow writer Isaac Rosenfeld
Isaac Rosenfeld
Isaac Rosenfeld was a Jewish-American writer who became a prominent member of the New York literary elite...

. In his 1959 novel Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books....

, Bellow modeled the character King Dahfu on Rosenfeld.

Education and early career

Bellow attended the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 but later transferred to Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

. He originally wanted to study literature, but he felt the English department to be anti-Jewish; instead, he graduated with honors in anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 and sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

. It has been suggested Bellow's study of anthropology had an interesting influence on his literary style, and anthropological references pepper his works. Bellow later did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

.

Paraphrasing Bellow's description of his close friend Allan Bloom
Allan Bloom
Allan David Bloom was an American philosopher, classicist, and academic. He studied under David Grene, Leo Strauss, Richard McKeon and Alexandre Kojève. He subsequently taught at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, Yale University, École Normale Supérieure of Paris, and the University...

 (see Ravelstein
Ravelstein
Ravelstein is Saul Bellow's final novel.Published in 2000, when Bellow was eighty-five years old, it received widespread critical acclaim. It tells the tale of a friendship between two university professors and the complications that animate their erotic and intellectual attachments in the face of...

), John Podhoretz
John Podhoretz
John Podhoretz is an American neoconservative columnist for the New York Post, the editor of Commentary magazine, the author of several books on politics, and a former presidential speechwriter.-Life and career:...

 has said that both Bellow and Bloom "inhaled books and ideas the way the rest of us breathe air."

In the 1930s, Bellow was part of the Chicago branch of the Works Progress Administration
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

 Writer's Project, which included such future Chicago literary luminaries as Richard Wright
Richard Wright (author)
Richard Nathaniel Wright was an African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries...

 and Nelson Algren
Nelson Algren
Nelson Algren was an American writer.-Early life:Algren was born Nelson Ahlgren Abraham in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Goldie and Gerson Abraham. At the age of three he moved with his parents to Chicago, Illinois where they lived in a working-class, immigrant neighborhood on the South Side...

. Most of the writers were radical: if they were not card-carrying members of the Communist Party USA
Communist Party USA
The Communist Party USA is a Marxist political party in the United States, established in 1919. It has a long, complex history that is closely related to the histories of similar communist parties worldwide and the U.S. labor movement....

, they were sympathetic to the cause. Bellow was a Trotskyist
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

, but because of the greater numbers of Stalinist
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

-leaning writers he had to suffer their taunts.

In 1941 Bellow became a naturalized US citizen. In 1943, Maxim Lieber
Maxim Lieber
Maxim Lieber was a prominent American literary agent in New York City during the 1930s and 1940s. Whittaker Chambers named him as an accomplice in 1949, and Lieber fled first to Mexico and then Poland not long after Alger Hiss's conviction in 1950.- Early years :Lieber was born in Warsaw, Poland,...

 was his literary agent.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Bellow joined the merchant marine
United States Merchant Marine
The United States Merchant Marine refers to the fleet of U.S. civilian-owned merchant vessels, operated by either the government or the private sector, that engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine is...

 and during his service he completed his first novel, Dangling Man
Dangling Man
-Plot summary:Written in diary format, the story centers on the life of an unemployed young man named Joseph, his relationships with his wife and friends, and his frustrations with life. Living in Chicago and waiting to be drafted, the diary acts as a philosophical confessional for his musings...

 (1944) about a young Chicago man waiting to be drafted for the war.

From 1946 through 1948 Bellow taught at the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

, living on Commonwealth Avenue, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In 1948, Bellow was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship
Guggenheim Fellowship
Guggenheim Fellowships are American grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." Each year, the foundation makes...

 that allowed him to move to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, where he began writing The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March is a novel by Saul Bellow.It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression...

 (1953). Critics have remarked on the resemblance between Bellow's picaresque novel
Picaresque novel
The picaresque novel is a popular sub-genre of prose fiction which is usually satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society...

 and the great 17th Century Spanish classic Don Quixote. The book starts with one of American literature's most famous opening paragraphs, and it follows its titular character through a series of careers and encounters, as he lives by his wits and his resolve. Written in a colloquial yet philosophical style, The Adventures of Augie March established Bellow's reputation as a major author.

In the late 1950s he taught creative writing at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. One of his students was William Kennedy
William Kennedy
William Kennedy may refer to:* William Kennedy , Canadian sailor and part of the search for Sir John Franklin* William Kennedy , British admiral...

, who was encouraged by Bellow to write fiction.

Return to Chicago

Bellow lived in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 for a number of years, but he returned to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 in 1962 as a professor at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. The committee's goal was to have professors work closely with talented graduate students on a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. Bellow taught on the committee for more than 30 years, alongside his close friend, the philosopher Allan Bloom
Allan Bloom
Allan David Bloom was an American philosopher, classicist, and academic. He studied under David Grene, Leo Strauss, Richard McKeon and Alexandre Kojève. He subsequently taught at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, Yale University, École Normale Supérieure of Paris, and the University...

.

There were also other reasons for Bellow's return to Chicago, where he moved into the Hyde Park
Hyde Park, Chicago
Hyde Park, located on the South Side of the City of Chicago, in Cook County, Illinois, United States and seven miles south of the Chicago Loop, is a Chicago neighborhood and one of 77 Chicago community areas. It is home to the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Museum of Science...

 neighborhood with his third wife, Susan Glassman. Bellow found Chicago to be vulgar but vital, and more representative of America than New York. He was able to stay in contact with old high school friends and a broad cross-section of society. In a 1982 profile, Bellow's neighborhood was described as a high-crime area in the city's center, and Bellow maintained he had to live in such a place as a writer and "stick to his guns."

Bellow hit the bestseller list in 1964 with his novel Herzog
Herzog (novel)
Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow. Letters from the protagonist constitute much of the text.Herzog won the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction and the The Prix International...

. Bellow was surprised at the commercial success of this cerebral novel about a middle-aged and troubled college professor who writes letters to friends, scholars and the dead, but never sends them. Bellow returned to his exploration of mental instability, and its relationship to genius, in his 1975 novel Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift is a 1975 novel by Saul Bellow, which won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and contributed to Bellow's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature the same year....

. Bellow used his late friend and rival, the brilliant but self-destructive poet Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz was an American poet and short story writer from Brooklyn, New York.-Biography:Schwartz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. His parents, Harry and Rose, both Romanian Jews, separated when Schwartz was nine, and their divorce had a profound effect on him. Later, in 1930,...

, as his model for the novel's title character, Von Humboldt Fleisher. Bellow also used Rudolf Steiner's spiritual science, anthroposophy, as a theme in the book, having attended a study group in Chicago. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

 in 1969.

Nobel Prize

Propelled by the success of Humboldt's Gift, Bellow won the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 in literature in 1976. In the 70-minute address he gave to an audience in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Bellow called on writers to be beacons for civilization and awaken it from intellectual torpor.

The following year, the National Endowment for the Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency of the United States established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The NEH is located at...

 selected Bellow for the Jefferson Lecture
Jefferson Lecture
The Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities is an honorary lecture series established in 1972 by the National Endowment for the Humanities . According to the NEH, the Lecture is "the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities."-History of...

, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

. Bellow's lecture was entitled "The Writer and His Country Look Each Other Over."

Bellow traveled widely throughout his life, mainly to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, which he sometimes visited twice a year. As a young man, Bellow went to Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 to meet Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, but the expatriate Russian revolutionary was assassinated the day before they were to meet. Bellow's social contacts were wide and varied. He tagged along with Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

 for a magazine profile he never wrote, he was close friends with the author Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison
Ralph Waldo Ellison was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953...

. His many friends included the journalist Sydney J. Harris and the poet John Berryman
John Berryman
John Allyn Berryman was an American poet and scholar, born in McAlester, Oklahoma. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century and was considered a key figure in the Confessional school of poetry...

.

While sales of Bellow's first few novels were modest, that turned around with Herzog
Herzog (novel)
Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow. Letters from the protagonist constitute much of the text.Herzog won the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction and the The Prix International...

. Bellow continued teaching well into his old age, enjoying its human interaction and exchange of ideas. He taught at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

, New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

, Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, University of Puerto Rico
University of Puerto Rico
The University of Puerto Rico is the state university system of Puerto Rico. The system consists of 11 campuses and has approximately 64,511 students and 5,300 faculty members...

, University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, Bard College
Bard College
Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

 and Boston University
Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

, where he co-taught a class with James Wood
James Wood (critic)
James Wood is a literary critic, essayist and novelist. he is Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.-Background and education:...

 ('modestly absenting himself' when it was time to discuss Seize the Day). In order to take up his appointment at Boston, Bellow moved in 1993 from Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 to Brookline, Massachusetts
Brookline, Massachusetts
Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, which borders on the cities of Boston and Newton. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 58,732.-Etymology:...

, where he died on April 5, 2005, at age 89. He is buried at the Jewish cemetery Shir HeHarim of Brattleboro, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

.

Bellow was married five times, with all but his last marriage ending in divorce. His son by his second marriage, Adam, published a nonfiction book In Praise of Nepotism in 2003. Bellow's wives were Anita Goshkin, Alexandra Tsachacbasov, Susan Glassman, Alexandra Ionescu Tulcea
Alexandra Bellow
Alexandra Bellow , is a mathematician from Bucharest, Romania, who has made substantial contributions to the fields of ergodic theory, probability and analysis.-Biography:...

 and Janis Freedman. In 1999, when he was 84, Bellow had a daughter, his fourth child, with Freedman.

While he read voluminously, Bellow also played the violin and followed sports. Work was a constant for him, but he at times toiled at a plodding pace on his novels, frustrating the publishing company.

His early works earned him the reputation as one of the foremost novelists of the 20th century, and by his death he was widely regarded to be one of the greatest living novelists. He was the first novelist to win the National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

 three times. His friend and protege Philip Roth
Philip Roth
Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained fame with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of Jewish-American life that earned him a National Book Award...

 has said of him, "The backbone of 20th-century American literature has been provided by two novelists – William Faulkner
William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

 and Saul Bellow. Together they are the Melville
Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....

, Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials...

, and Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 of the 20th century." James Wood
James Wood (critic)
James Wood is a literary critic, essayist and novelist. he is Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.-Background and education:...

, in a eulogy of Bellow in The New Republic
The New Republic
The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

, wrote:

Themes and style

The author's works speak to the disorienting nature of modern civilization, and the countervailing ability of humans to overcome their frailty and achieve greatness (or at least awareness). Bellow saw many flaws in modern civilization, and its ability to foster madness, materialism and misleading knowledge. Principal characters in Bellow's fiction have heroic potential, and many times they stand in contrast to the negative forces of society. Often these characters are Jewish and have a sense of alienation or otherness.

Jewish life and identity is a major theme in Bellow's work, although he bristled at being called a "Jewish writer." Bellow's work also shows a great appreciation of America, and a fascination with the uniqueness and vibrancy of the American experience.

Bellow's work abounds in references and quotes from the likes of Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu...

 and Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

, but he offsets these high-culture references with jokes. Bellow interspersed autobiographical elements into his fiction, and many of his principal characters were said to bear a resemblance to him.

Criticism, controversy and conservative cultural activism

Martin Amis
Martin Amis
Martin Louis Amis is a British novelist, the author of many novels including Money and London Fields . He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, but will step down at the end of the 2010/11 academic year...

 described Bellow as "The greatest American author ever, in my view".
For Linda Grant, "what Bellow had to tell us in his fiction was that it was worth it, being alive."
On the other hand, Bellow's detractors considered his work conventional and old-fashioned, as if the author was trying to revive the 19th century European novel. In a private letter, Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

 once referred to Bellow as a "miserable mediocrity." Journalist and author Ron Rosenbaum
Ron Rosenbaum
-Life and career:Rosenbaum was born into a Jewish family in New York City, New York and grew up in Bay Shore, New York. He graduated from Yale University in 1968 and won a Carnegie Fellowship to attend Yale's graduate program in English Literature, though he dropped out after taking one course...

 described Bellow's Ravelstein
Ravelstein
Ravelstein is Saul Bellow's final novel.Published in 2000, when Bellow was eighty-five years old, it received widespread critical acclaim. It tells the tale of a friendship between two university professors and the complications that animate their erotic and intellectual attachments in the face of...

 (2000) as the only book that rose above Bellow's failings as an author. Rosenbaum wrote,
Sam Tanenhaus
Sam Tanenhaus
Sam Tanenhaus is an American historian, biographer, and journalist.-Biography:Tanenhaus received his B.A. in English from Grinnell College in 1977 and a M.A. in English Literature from Yale University in 1978. He is currently the editor of The New York Times Book Review and Week in Review...

 wrote in New York Times Book Review in 2007:
But, Tanenhaus went on to answer his question:
V. S. Pritchett
V. S. Pritchett
Sir Victor Sawdon Pritchett CH CBE , was a British writer and critic. He was particularly known for his short stories, collected in a number of volumes...

 praised Bellow, finding his shorter works to be his best. Pritchett called Bellow's novella Seize the Day a "small gray masterpiece."

Bellow's account of his 1975 trip to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, To Jerusalem and Back: A Personal Account, was criticized by Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 in his 1983 book Fateful Triangle: the United States, Israel & the Palestinians. Bellow, Chomsky wrote, "sees an Israel where ‘almost everyone is reasonable and tolerant, and rancor against the Arabs is rare,’ where the people ‘think so hard, and so much’ as they ‘farm a barren land, industrialize it, build cities, make a society, do research, philosophize, write books, sustain a great moral tradition, and finally create an army of tough fighters.’ He has also been criticized for having praised Joan Peters
Joan Peters
Joan Peters is a former CBS news producer of otherwise unnamed documentaries, and the author best known for a number of theses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, put forward in her book From Time Immemorial, published in 1984 in which she claims that the Palestinians are largely not indigenous...

's book, From Time Immemorial
From Time Immemorial
From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine is a 1984 book by Joan Peters about the demographics of the Arab population of Palestine and of the Jewish population of the Arab world before and after the formation of the State of Israel.According to the book a large...

, which denied the existence of Palestinians and was exposed almost immediately after publication as containing gross falsifications of the sources it cited.

As he grew older, Bellow moved decidedly away from leftist politics and became identified with cultural conservatism
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

. His opponents included feminism
Feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

, campus activism and postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

. In 1995 along with Lynne V. Cheney and other noted conservatives, he helped found the American Council of Trustees and Alumni
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to "support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives a philosophically rich, high-quality...

 (ACTA) based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and funded by the conservative Bradley Foundation
Bradley Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a conservative foundation with about half a billion US dollars in assets. According to the Bradley Foundation 1998 Annual Report, it gives away more than $30 million per year...

 and John M. Olin Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation was a grant-making foundation established in 1953 by John M. Olin, president of the Olin Industries chemical and munitions manufacturing businesses. Unlike most non-profit foundations, the John M. Olin Foundation was charged to spend all of its assets within a generation of...

Promoting the Core Curriculum view of liberal education, the ACTA is best known for its 2001 report, Defending Civilization . . . , which met with wide criticism and accusations of neo-McCarthyism, because it served as a broadside against a "liberal academia" that the report authors saw as being insufficiently patriotic and "soft" on international terrorism. Following a barrage of criticism, ACTA published a "revised and expanded" version.

Bellow also thrust himself into the often contentious realm of Jewish and African-American relations. In Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet is a 1970 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. It was awarded the National Book Award for fiction in 1971.- Plot synopsis :Mr...

, Bellow's portrayal of a black pickpocket who exposes himself in public was criticized, by some activists, as racist. In 2007, attempts to name a street after Bellow in his Hyde Park neighborhood were scotched by local alderman on the grounds that Bellow had made remarks about the neighborhood's current inhabitants that they considered racist.

In an interview in the March 7, 1988 New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

, Bellow sparked a controversy when he asked, concerning multiculturalism
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

, "Who is the Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

 of the Zulus? The Proust
Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu...

 of the Papuans
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

? I'd be glad to read him." The taunt was seen by some as a slight against non-Western literature. Bellow at first claimed to have been misquoted. Later, writing in his defense in the New York Times, he said, "The scandal is entirely journalistic
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

 in origin... Always foolishly trying to explain and edify all comers, I was speaking of the distinction between literate and preliterate societies. For I was once an anthropology student, you see." Bellow claimed to have remembered shortly after making his infamous comment that he had in fact read a Zulu novel in translation: Chaka by Thomas Mofolo (an inaccuracy remains in this: Mofolo's novel is in Sesotho, not Zulu).

Despite his identification with Chicago, he kept aloof from some of that city's more conventional writers. Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel
Louis "Studs" Terkel was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for The Good War, and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago.-Early...

 in a 2006 interview with Stop Smiling magazine said of Bellow: "I didn't know him too well. We disagreed on a number of things politically. In the protests in the beginning of Norman Mailer's
Norman Mailer
Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S...

 Armies of the Night, when Mailer, Robert Lowell
Robert Lowell
Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV was an American poet, considered the founder of the confessional poetry movement. He was appointed the sixth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress where he served from 1947 until 1948...

 and Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman (writer)
Paul Goodman was an American sociologist, poet, writer, anarchist, and public intellectual. Goodman is now mainly remembered as the author of Growing Up Absurd and an activist on the pacifist Left in the 1960s and an inspiration to that era's student movement...

 were marching to protest the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, Bellow was invited to a sort of counter-gathering. He said, 'Of course I'll attend'. But he made a big thing of it. Instead of just saying OK, he was proud of it. So I wrote him a letter and he didn't like it. He wrote me a letter back. He called me a Stalinist. But otherwise, we were friendly. He was a brilliant writer, of course. I love Seize the Day."

Quotations

"[There is] an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for."

"I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction."

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned."

Novels and novellas

  • Dangling Man
    Dangling Man
    -Plot summary:Written in diary format, the story centers on the life of an unemployed young man named Joseph, his relationships with his wife and friends, and his frustrations with life. Living in Chicago and waiting to be drafted, the diary acts as a philosophical confessional for his musings...

     (1944)
  • The Victim (1947)
  • The Adventures of Augie March
    The Adventures of Augie March
    The Adventures of Augie March is a novel by Saul Bellow.It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression...

     (1953)
  • Seize the Day (1956)
  • Henderson the Rain King
    Henderson the Rain King
    Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books....

     (1959)
  • Herzog
    Herzog (novel)
    Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow. Letters from the protagonist constitute much of the text.Herzog won the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction and the The Prix International...

     (1964)
  • Mr. Sammler's Planet
    Mr. Sammler's Planet
    Mr. Sammler's Planet is a 1970 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. It was awarded the National Book Award for fiction in 1971.- Plot synopsis :Mr...

     (1970)
  • Humboldt's Gift
    Humboldt's Gift
    Humboldt's Gift is a 1975 novel by Saul Bellow, which won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and contributed to Bellow's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature the same year....

     (1975), won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize
    Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
    The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. It originated as the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, which was awarded between 1918 and 1947.-1910s:...

  • The Dean's December
    The Dean's December
    The Dean's December is a 1982 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. The first novel Bellow published after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976, it is set in Chicago and Bucharest...

     (1982)
  • More Die of Heartbreak
    More Die of Heartbreak
    More Die of Heartbreak is a 1987 novel by the American author Saul Bellow, and was his tenth novel. Like most of Bellow's other works, More Die of Heartbreak is grounded more in the development of character than in the growth of action. Among its themes are the difficulties of reconciling one's...

     (1987)
  • A Theft
    A Theft
    A Theft is a 1989 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. Bellow originally wanted to publish the book as a story or serial in a magazine such as The New Yorker, but his agent had trouble selling it to any magazine...

     (1989)
  • The Bellarosa Connection
    The Bellarosa Connection
    The Bellarosa Connection is a 1989 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. The book takes the form of an ongoing dialogue between the Fonstein family about the impact of the Jewish Holocaust. This is an especially significant story as it represents, along with Mr. Sammler's Planet, Bellow's most...

     (1989)
  • The Actual
    The Actual (novel)
    The Actual is a 1997 novel by the American author Saul Bellow.-Plot synopsis:Like most of Bellow's fiction, the story centers on the lives of a group of passionate and anxious people living in Chicago. Harry Trellman has formed a friendship with the fabulously wealthy Sigmund Adletsky...

     (1997)
  • Ravelstein
    Ravelstein
    Ravelstein is Saul Bellow's final novel.Published in 2000, when Bellow was eighty-five years old, it received widespread critical acclaim. It tells the tale of a friendship between two university professors and the complications that animate their erotic and intellectual attachments in the face of...

     (2000)

Short Story Collections

  • Mosby's Memoirs (1968)
  • Him with His Foot in His Mouth (1984)
  • Something to Remember Me By: Three Tales (1991)
  • Collected Stories (2001)

Library of America editions

  • Novels 1944-1953: Dangling Man, The Victim, The Adventures of Augie March (2003)
  • Novels 1956-1964: Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog (2007)
  • Novels 1970-1982: Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Humboldt’s Gift, The Dean’s December (2010)

Translations

  • Gimpel the Fool
    Gimpel the Fool
    "Gimpel the Fool" is a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, translated into English by Saul Bellow in 1953. It tells the story of Gimpel, a simple bread maker who is the butt of many of his town's jokes. It also gives its name to the collection first published in 1957...

     (1945) by Isaac Bashevis Singer
    Isaac Bashevis Singer
    Isaac Bashevis Singer – July 24, 1991) was a Polish Jewish American author noted for his short stories. He was one of the leading figures in the Yiddish literary movement, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978...

     (trans. by Bellow in 1953)

Non-Fiction

  • To Jerusalem and Back (1976) - Memoir
  • It All Adds Up (1994) - Essay collection
  • Saul Bellow: Letters, edited by Benjamin Taylor
    Benjamin Taylor (author)
    Benjamin Taylor is an American writer whose work has appeared in a number of publications including Esquire, Bookforum, BOMB, the Los Angeles Times, The Georgia Review, Raritan Quarterly Review, Threepenny Review, Salmagundi, Provincetown Arts and The Reading Room...

     (2010) - Correspondence

Works about Saul Bellow

  • Saul Bellow, Tony Tanner (1965) (see also his City of Words [1971])
  • Saul Bellow, Malcolm Bradbury
    Malcolm Bradbury
    Sir Malcolm Stanley Bradbury CBE was an English author and academic.-Life:Bradbury was the son of a railwayman. His family moved to London in 1935, but returned to Sheffield in 1941 with his brother and mother...

     (1982)
  • Saul Bellow Drumlin Woodchuck,Mark Harris, University of Georgia Press. (1982)
  • Saul Bellow: Modern Critical Views, Harold Bloom
    Harold Bloom
    Harold Bloom is an American writer and literary critic, and is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. He is known for his defense of 19th-century Romantic poets, his unique and controversial theories of poetic influence, and his prodigious literary output, particularly for a literary...

     (Ed.) (1986)
  • Handsome Is: Adventures with Saul Bellow, Harriet Wasserman (1997)
  • Saul Bellow and the Decline of Humanism, Michael K Glenday (1990)
  • Saul Bellow: A Biography of the Imagination, Ruth Miller, St. Martins Pr. (1991)
  • Bellow: A Biography, James Atlas
    James Atlas
    James Atlas , is the president of Atlas & Company, publishers, and founding editor of the Penguin Lives Series.A Harvard graduate, Rhodes Scholar, and onetime contributor to The New Yorker, he was an editor at The New York Times Magazine for many years.He has edited volumes of poetry and has...

     (2000)
  • "Even Later" and "The American Eagle" in Martin Amis
    Martin Amis
    Martin Louis Amis is a British novelist, the author of many novels including Money and London Fields . He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, but will step down at the end of the 2010/11 academic year...

    , The War Against Cliché (2001) are celebratory. The latter essay is also found in the Everyman's Library
    Everyman's Library
    Everyman's Library is a series of reprinted classic literature currently published in hardback by Random House. It was originally an imprint of J. M. Dent , who continue to publish Everyman Classics in paperback.J. M. Dent and Company began to publish the series in 1906...

     edition of Augie March.
  • 'Saul Bellow's comic style': James Wood
    James Wood (critic)
    James Wood is a literary critic, essayist and novelist. he is Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.-Background and education:...

     in The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel, 2004. ISBN 0-224-06450-9.
  • The Hero in Contemporary American Fiction: The Works of Saul Bellow and Don DeLillo , Stephanie Halldorson (2007)
  • Saul Bellow a song, written by Sufjan Stevens on The Avalanche

See also

  • List of Jewish Nobel laureates
  • PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction
    PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction
    The PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction is awarded by the PEN American Center "to a distinguished living American author of fiction whose body of work in English possesses qualities of excellence, ambition, and scale of achievement over a sustained career which place him or...

  • Wilhelm Reich
    Wilhelm Reich
    Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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