Saul Bellow Message Board

bob posts on 8/21/2011 8:52:34 PM You have a "resident scholar" who begins a review of The Adventures of Augie March by saying Augie lived with his GRANDMOTHER? When the first chapter goes into such glorious detail that "Grandma Lausch" who ruled the family wasn't even related? Most reviews of Augie miss the subtle points, but this...?
Anthony posts on 6/22/2005 5:41:15 PM can anyone help me with this question. The answer is a precise thing...i think
adriana posts a bold assertion on 1/9/2005 10:43:40 AM Herzog is not genial, but on the brink of being so...All his schollarly work goes to nothing because of Madeleine, his beautiful and intelligent wife, who takes the lead in the pattern created by him imposing himself as a domineering character yet losing this by falling too much in love with her and trying so hard to save her from the fanatic religiousness she wanted to confound herself with. Poor Herzog goes through a process of domestication, of taming and from the domineering character he used to be in his previous relationship with Daisy, he becomes dominated by this whimsical woman who somehow wants to challenge him on a higher level. And she nearly suceeds making his closest friends fall in love with her. Herzog is not a psychopat, he acts like a man who is in pain and seems to lose control over everything because his world has collapsed. The bereavment with Madeleine is no usual bereavement, he has saved her and married her and still feels responsible for his daughter but is unable to really materialize that for everybody pushes him away giving him that sense of inexplainable guilt which he carries and does not understand.

Damon LaBarbera posts on 1/8/2005 2:26:49 PM Admittedly, it feels a little cheap to describe Herzog in psychological terms--sort of an inelegant reductionism. So agree with you that it is best not to sick (sic) to psychological terms. However, I do also think some of the features of mania are suggested. It is interesting when authors can write so authentically that the events are true from various perspectives. Wouldn't it an endorsement of a novel if, say, if an ethologist or chemist or police officer could say that the novel was true to the principles of ethology or chemistry or policework--the invented reality fitting with people's varied conceptualizations of reality. As well of being aristic and creative, but still adhering to the laws of physics, so to speak, except for those particular laws the author chooses to break. Another thought: perhaps the impulses that lead to the artistic depiction of Herzog also are the intellectual antecedents of the concepualization of bipolar disorder, so that both have similarities. After all, these ideas exist in a fairly narrow range--modern psychiatry and authors influenced by Judaism.

Note: the views expressed here are only those of the posters.
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