Saul Bellow is one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century American literature. Bellow's work explores the most important cultural and social experiences of his era: the impact of the Holocaust, the urban experience of European immigrants from a Jewish perspective, the fraught failures of the Vietnam War, the ideological seductions of Marxism and Modernism, and the changing attitudes concerning gender and race. This Companion demonstrates the complexity of this formative writer by emphasizing the ways in which Bellow's works speak to the changing conditions of American identity and culture from the post-war period to the turn of the twenty-first century. Individual chapters address the major themes of Bellow's work over more than a half-century of masterfully crafted fiction, articulating some of the most significant cultural experiences of the American twentieth century. It provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of a key figure in American literature.
Table of Contents
Chronology; Introduction. Saul Bellow in his times Victoria Aarons; 1. Bellow's early fiction and the making of the Bellovian protagonist Philippe Codde; 2. Seize the Day: Bellow's novel of existential crisis Hilene Flanzbaum; 3. Bellow's breakthrough: The Adventures of Augie March and the novel of voice Steven G. Kellman; 4. Bellow's cityscapes: Chicago and New York Gustavo Sánchez Canales; 5. Bellow and the Holocaust Victoria Aarons; 6. Humboldt's Gift and Bellow's intellectual protagonists S. Lillian Kremer; 7. On being a Jewish writer: Bellow's post-war America and the American Jewish diaspora Alan L. Berger; 8. Bellow and his literary contemporaries Timothy Parrish; 9. Women and gender in Bellow's fiction: Herzog Paule Lévy; 10. Race and cultural politics in Bellow's fiction Martin Urdiales-Shaw; 11. Bellow on Israel: to Jerusalem and back Leona Toker; 12. Bellow's nonfiction: it all adds up Sukhbir Singh; 13. Bellow's short fiction David Brauner; 14. The late Bellow: Ravelstein and the novel of ideas Leah Garrett; Guide to further reading; Index.