Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Saul Bellow

Tonight we discussed Bellow's short novel Seize the Day at my Great Books Discussion Group. What an intriguing read it is! Interestingly, Bellow kept me reading and eagerly anticipating a moment of enlightenment for the main character, Tommy Wilhelm. This moment never comes, at least according to my reading. I was left feeling frustrated, but still happy for reading such a creative work. (My frustration was reminiscent of how I felt many years ago when I read Robbe-Grillet's The Voyeur for an experimental literature class.)

The entire novel takes place in one day. We follow Wilhelm around from one disaster to the next, but we are often in his thoughts of past events. Wilhem is a sad figure, his father is a sad figure, a bizarre psychologist named Tamkin is also a sad figure, yet is it really comedy or tragedy?


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