Friday, January 22, 2010

Herzog by Saul Bellow

Book Review
Rating 7 out of 10

So I finnished "Herzog" by Saul Bellow. It was good. It's a strange book about a guy Herzog who is maybe mad, maybe wise, all the time you think he is going to collapse. Herzog is a very clever, perceptive guy, a university professor who has written a book about the Romantics and Christianity. "Herzog" describes among other things Herzog's thought processes, often Nietzsche is mentioned. The meaninglessness of the world is all the time threatening to make his world collapse all together. I came to think about the chapter in the bible:
"Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." (The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Ecclesiastes 1:1 ) Also the book reminded me about Nietzsches collapse, reading the book is perhaps a little bit like being inside Nietzsches head when he was growing mad. The book is also about an American who seems still very attached to his Jewish identity, a bit puzzling for me. Because I think he was born in America, so I should think his identification as an American would have been stronger. Another reference comming to mind concerning this book is good old Franz Kafka, although not stylistically, but something about the authors alianation from his surroundings made me think of Kafka. I guess you could say that this book is a modern classic in American litterature?

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