Musings, Nits, and Praises: Lit Bit #4

Musings, Nits, and Praises

A farrago of all things deemed blog-worthy by a music-loving, poetry-writing, humor-seeking English teacher


Lit Bit #4

I'm slowly making my way through Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March--slowly because it's a long novel and the language is dense, not because it's dull. Some critics have asserted it's the greatest post-WWII novel in American literature--some even suggest it's the greatest American novel of all time. Wherever it ranks in the American canon, it's unquestionably a remarkable work. Here's one of my favorite passages I've read to this point (I'm only about 1/4 of the way into the book):

"If you want to pick your own ideal creature in the mirror coastal air and sharp leaves of ancient perfections and be at home where a great mankind was at home, I've never seen any reason why not. Though unable to go along one hundred percent with a man like Reverend Beecher telling his congregation, "Ye are Gods, you are crystalline, your faces are radiant!" I'm not an optimist of that degree, from the actual faces, congregated or separate, that I've seen; always admitting that the true vision of things is a gift, particularly in times of disfigurement and world-wide Babylonishness, when plug-ugly macadam and volcanic peperino look commoner than crystal--to eyes with an ordinary amount of grace, anyhow--and when it appears like a good sensible policy to settle for medium-grade quartz."

3 Responses to “Lit Bit #4”

  1. # Blogger Jason

    If you missed the random comment someone posted in response to this post, let's just say she harbored an unbridled disdain for Saul Bellow. That's too bad.  

  2. # Blogger James and Mona

    Jason,

    When did you become smarter than me? I thought we both taught high school. This exerpt is above my head. My summer reading has been a children's fantasy and a $4 murder mystery. My own book is coming along, but you've ruined your chances, buddy, there's no way I'm letting you read it now. :)  

  3. # Blogger Jason

    Haha! Bellow's style in the novel is dense at times, but you get used to it the further you read the book.

    And, I'm eagerly awaiting a chance to read your finished book, by the way. I have no doubt it'll be imaginative and entertaining.  

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