Herzog

Saul Bellow
7.7 /10
Ocena 7.7 na 10 możliwych
Na podstawie 6 ocen kanapowiczów
Herzog
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7.7 /10
Ocena 7.7 na 10 możliwych
Na podstawie 6 ocen kanapowiczów

Opis

Is Moses Herzog – philosopher, suffering romantic and cuckhold – losing his mind? His formidable wife Madeleine has left him for his best friend and he is left alone with his whirling thoughts, yet he still sees himself as a survivor, raging against private disasters and those of the modern age. His head buzzing with ideas, he writes frantic, unsent letters to friends and enemies, colleagues and famous people, the living and the dead, revealing the spectacular workings of his labyrinthine mind and the innermost secrets of his troubled heart. ‘A masterpiece … Herzog’s voice, for all its wildness and strangeness and foolishness, is the voice of a civilization, our civilization’ The New York Times Book Review ‘Spectacular … surely Bellow’s greatest novel’ Malcolm Bradbury As I write these words, Saul Bellow, America’s greatest living novelist, is in his eighty-fifth year. He has lately published his thirteenth novel, Ravelstein, an exuberant tale about grand political ideas and our human mortality – not least the author’s own, for in the book he discloses he has been recently faced with a life-threatening illness, for which the completion of his novel is a recompense. His central character, Abe Ravelstein, a famous gay high-spending Jewish academic and political philosopher, belongs to a long line of Bellovian heroes. He is the suffering joker, a source of huge ideas and serious political wisdom, who is also a figure of clownish excess. Following the advice of the book’s narrator, a older writer who is clearly Bellow, he has put his inspired academic ideas into print, and suddenly made a fortune. Now he can stay in a suite at the Hotel Crillon in Paris, where the crowds outside are calling for Michael Jackson, and buy priceless jackets from Lanvin over which, in his grand carelessness, he promptly spills his espresso coffee. Ravelstein is dying of AIDS, and wants to see a memoir written. And who better to do so than ‘Chick’, who is plainly Bellow, the most superb of all recorders of the struggles of the mind in America in its age of closure and mindless plushness. Ravelstein dies and thanks to his wife Rosamund, Bellow lives (just). Though, Bellow writes, ‘I am a great believer in the power of an unfinished work to keep you alive,’ the book now gets finished. Thus, via print, it is Ravelstein who is kept alive, and is summed up in a final image as he listens to his hi-fi: ‘He loses himself in sublime music, a music in which ideas are dissolved, reflecting these ideas in the form of feeling. He carries them down into the street with him. There’s an early show on the tall shrubs, the same shrubs filled with a huge flock of parrots – the ones that escaped from cages and now build their long nest sacks in the back alleys … Ravelstein looks at me laughing with pleasure and astonishment, gesturing because he can’t be heard in all the bird noise. ‘You don’t easily give up a creature like Ravelstein to death.’ Ravelstein, the chattering philosopher who points to silence, the dying man who gives life, a figure of mind, mortality and the lush vulgar wonder of our age of glossy late modernity, is a natural figure in the great gallery of Bellow’s fiction, which has always been strong in thinking heroes and the climate of the times. Indeed by now it is over sixty years – for he published his first story in 1941 – that Bellow has sustained the late twentieth century, the latter-day, the postmodern American record. In careful detail, every phase of a remarkable cultural growth has been recorded. A fiction that started out in the climate of thirties naturalism has boomed and expanded and grown extravagant to keep pace with the amazing strangeness of modern America itself. There was the dark time of Depression, the search for work, food and the right politics; then there was the mental hiatus of wartime. There was the suddenly booming post-war world, where ideological conflict grew, and America became a superpower. There was the youthful buoyancy of the age of Kennedy, then the cultural revolution of the sixties, the venture into space, the accumulation, the struggles of the mind in the ‘terrific posthistorical enterprise of the sixties and seventies’, then the wealth, the mile-high apartment block, the grand mall of postmodern abundance, and the era when Abe Ravelstein the philosopher shares a world and hotel lobby with Michael Jackson. To serve all these complex occasions, Bellow has over his time offered us various styles of fiction, from the constrained, existential, naturalistic writing of his first two novels to the exuberant epic, and from the modern tragedy to the flamboyant intellectual comedy. The manner has changed, expanded, grown grand to fit modern possibility. Yet the voice throughout has been complete and consistent, the style a distinctive tone, vernacular and metaphysical, comic and scrupulous, meditative yet narrative, euphoric yet studied, that several generations of writers have tried to mime and copy. And that has meant not just fellow American novelists but writers everywhere, from Umberto Eco and Salman Rushdie to Martin Amis. Malcolm Bradbury
Data wydania: 2001
ISBN: 978-0-14-118487-6, 9780141184876
Język: angielski
Wydawnictwo: Penguin Books
Seria: Dzieła Najwybitniejszych Noblistów
Stron: 340
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@doffka
2010-08-05
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WO
2012-03-04
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@anika
2008-09-16
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2007-12-06
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2007-09-17
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@calamitas
2010-11-14
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