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Additional resources for AMERICAN WRITERS, Retrospective Supplement II

Example text

The "abuses" Bellow refers to were largely matters of length and focus. The Adventures of Augie March is Bellow's longest single work. It moves through dozens of characters and scores of scenes as it chronicles its hero's life from early childhood through middle age. Perhaps in response his own misgivings, Bellow's next major work, a novella entitled Seize the Day, was a model of restraint, representing only about four hours in the life of its protagonist, a middle-aged schlemiel named Tommy Wilhelm.

East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2000. Bloom, Harold, ed. Saul Bellow. New York: Chelsea, 1986. Bradbury, Malcolm. Saul Bellow. London: Methuen, 1982. Braham, Jeanne. A Sort of Columbus: The American Voyages of Saul Bellow's Fiction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984. Clayton, John Jacob. Saul Bellow: In Defense of Man. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968. Cohen, Sarah Blacher. Saul Bellow's Enigmatic Laughter. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974. Cronin, Gloria L.

In many ways, it is Bellow's least characteristic work, lacking the distinctive style and aggressive character development for which he became famous. In later interviews, he referred to it as an apprenticeship novel in which he consciously imitated themes and forms from the great writers whose ranks he hoped to join. His second novel, The Victim (1947), was more original in its theme, but it was no more innovative in its writing style. "I was restrained, controlled, demonstrating that I could write 'good,'" Bellow later remarked in an interview with Maggie Simmons.

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