Saul Bellow, Herzog, New York: Viking, 1964

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch57

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Saul Bellow, Herzog, New York: Viking, 1964, in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch57

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • The Adventures of Augie March (1953) - winning Saul Bellow the first of his three National Book Awards, Herzog;
  • critics and fellow writers, having faulted his work - for what they see as trying to take the novel back to nineteenth-century conventions;
  • Bellow's earlier novels, narratives of exuberant invention - or stories focusing on a troubled, isolated character;
  • narrative, driven by brooding Moses E. Herzog's - unsent letters to friends, family, acquaintances and public figures, alive and dead;
  • horrific story, in a New York courtroom - of a neglected and murdered child;
  • Herzog, coming to terms - with time, age, decay, and change, not within large cultural abstractions of History of Ideas;
  • obsessive quality, leading him to recollections - of a crumbling New York and its throngs of dying old men and women, subway graffiti as “Minor works of Death”;
  • nature, actually present around and even inside - his ill-kept house in the Berkshires, as opposed to Nature of Romantic Studies;
  • Will's suggestion, that he check in to a hospital - keeping Ramona at a distance, while still allowing her into his life;
  • degree of restored order, temporary and privileged - allowing him relief from the burden of memory


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography