Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Saul Bellow !

Saul Bellow
Today is the birthday of a Canadian-born Jewish American writer Saul Bellow. Saul Bellow's (June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005) literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times and he received the Foundation's lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990. In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, 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, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift and Ravelstein. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest authors, Bellow has had a "huge literary influence." Presenting some quotations : Being Poet
·         All a writer has to do to get a woman is to say he's a writer. It's an aphrodisiac.
·         Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love.
·         Any artist should be grateful for a nanve grace which puts him beyond the need to reason elaborately.
·         There are evils that have the ability to survive identification and go on for ever... money, for instance, or war.
·         Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.
·         Psychoanalysis pretends to investigate the Unconscious. The Unconscious by definition is what you are not conscious of. But the Analysts already know what's in it -- they should, because they put it all in beforehand.
·         As for types like my own, obscurely motivated by the conviction that our existence was worthless if we didn't make a turning point of it, we were assigned to the humanities, to poetry, philosophy, painting -- the nursery games of humankind, which had to be left behind when the age of science began. The humanities would be called upon to choose a wallpaper for the crypt, as the end drew near.
·         The fact that there are so many weak, poor and boring stories and novels written and published in America has been ascribed by our rebels to the horrible squareness of our institutions, the idiocy of power, the debasement of sexual instincts, and the failure of writers to be alienated enough. The poems and novels of these same rebellious spirits, and their theoretical statements, are grimy and gritty and very boring too, besides being nonsensical, and it is evident by now that polymorphous sexuality and vehement declarations of alienation are not going to produce great works of art either.