NABOKV-L post 0008942, Fri, 21 Nov 2003 08:43:10 -0800

Subject
Fw: Fw: Saul Bellow -- an earnest admirer of Pnin and Lolita ...:
Martin Amis essay
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rodney Welch" <rodney41@mindspring.com>

> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (48
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> In his memoir "Experience," Amis calls Nabokov and Bellow his "twin
> peaks." He goes on to write: "Nabokov, ridiculously, once dismissed
> Bellow as `a miserable mediocrity', an evaluation based (I am
> confident) on slender acquaintance with his stuff..." I'm less
> confident; the work of Bellow that Amis (and Christopher Hitchens and
> James Wood and Salman Rushdie) nominates for the great American novel
> is "The Adventures of Augie March," which strikes me as the work of a
> complete windbag. I am not at all convinced by the many arguments put
> forth in its behalf in recent weeks that it is some kind of Joycean
> masterpiece of language or the American idiom or what-have-you; I read
> it quite carefully a few years ago and it was clear to me throughout
> that not only is it not great, it isn't very good either. It's a
> rambling self-absorbed picaresque, penned by a young man under the
> spell of his own unlovable and unlovely voice -- which, as subsequent
> novels indicate, he was neither able nor -- by most critics --
> encouraged to shake. I don't get my opinions from Nabokov or base them
> on what he might have thought, but I cannot imagine that he would have
> found anything to like in Bellow's clotted prose.
>
> Rodney Welch
> Columbia, SC
>
>
> On Thursday, November 20, 2003, at 09:27 PM, D. Barton Johnson wrote:
>
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <nitrogen14@australia.edu>
> >>
> >> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (11
> > lines) ------------------
> >> "Still, I propose to make an educated guess about >literary futures,
> >> and I
> >> hereby trumpet the prediction that Saul Bellow >will emerge as the
> >> supreme
> >> American novelist."
> >>
> >> I can recall when Amis fils was predicting World War 3, and his own
> >> 'need'
> >> during WW3, to shoot his wife and children to spare them the ravages
> >> of
> >> radiation poisoning. I suspect his latest prediction has an equally
> >> good
> >> chance of being realised.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
>