My reply @WendellMurray

@WendellMurray @StephenKMackSD

Thank you for your comment. I tried to read that Wolfe doorstop ‘A Man in Full’ which a friend gave to me, she hadn’t sent in her Book-of-the-Month Club notice in time: how long ago was that? Its style, such as it was, reminiscent of Cosmo Magazine under the able editorship of Helen Gurley Brown.

On Bellow:  I read ‘Herzog’, in a paperback, I bought at the corner liquor store along with Mailer’s ‘An American Dream’ in 1965  or  ’66.  ‘Herzog’ was written partly in French, a nod to the literary cognoscenti , as indicative of ‘American sophistication’?,  which is how he communicated with his girlfriend Ramona, and his compulsively tedious letter writing to persons historical and contemporary.

I found at that time the fiction of J.D. Salinger and John Knowles less concerned with the plight of a grumpy old man,  surveying his losses, allied to his general dull-witted relations with his fellow humans, that failed to strike a cord ! Even entering my 75th year I don’t feel anything like the remembered  bitching of Herzog. Kant’s imperative of ‘self-emancipation from tutelage’ is the very engine of hope!

Bellow wrote an even more boring and pretentious novel, his last, ‘Ravelstein’, an homage to the hysterical self-appointed Platonist and Straussian Allen Bloom. ‘The Closing of the American Mind’ for which Bellow wrote an enthusiastic introduction, as I mentioned in my post – its titled purloined/ adapted by two of the current crop of Anti-Student hysterics, New Democrat propagandist,  Professor of Ethical Leadership specializing in ‘the psychology of morality’ Jonathan Haidt and CEO Greg Lukianoff. The toxic alliance between the Neo-Liberals and the Neo-Conservatives is a threat to the future of human life and the planet Earth.

While I might have read Wolfe,  I was  busy reading Children of the ArbatFear and Dust and Ashes by Anatoly Rybakov. And ‘Life and Fate’ by Vasily Grossman or Balzac and Victor Hugo etc., etc.



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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