Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Saul Bellow: RIP

Saul Bellow

Oh dear, this really is too much. I've just read on the BBC that the author, Saul Bellow, has died at the ripe old age of 89. That's my second favourite American author to have passed away in just over a month (the first being Hunter S. Thompson). In the 70s and 80s I devoured, Humboldt's Gift, Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog and others with gusto. In terms of reading material, this was my "Jewish Period". Now I'm not even close to being Jewish (or Catholic for that matter) but I've felt guilty about one thing ot another my whole life and I identify with Jewish angst. Bellow's books were eloquent, refreshing and very funny. No wonder he won a Pulitzer and the Nobel prize. Saul, we will miss you and fortunately you've left a treasure trove of literature for us to study and take delight. I shall finish with a quotation that should be memorised by all young scientists starting out on their careers:

I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, "To hell with you."



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