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“It was made clear to me when I studied literature in the university that as a Jew and the son of Russian Jews I would never have the right feeling for Anglo-Saxon traditions, for English words.”
Zachary Leader’s revealing new biography, The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915–1964 (Knopf) brings out many of the author's biographical connections to the characters in Herzog.
"When did you first notice?"
At first there was no pattern to the notes he made.
p.50 Another of Herzog’s mental exercises in thinking about the world, its anxieties and the trigger of writing letters to the editor, if not in prose, then in little poems.
p. 157 Ramona, the marvelously sympathetic woman with slightly curved white teeth, considers Herzog to be a piece of human capital badly invested thus far. She is going to switch his investment to her.
Dear Governor Stevenson, Herzog wrote, gripping his seat in the hurtling train, Just a word with you, friend. I supported you in 1952.
He knew his scribbling, his letter-writing, was ridiculous. It was involuntary.