NABOKV-L post 0008954, Fri, 21 Nov 2003 17:46:03 -0800

Subject
Fw: Fw: Fw: Saul Bellow -- an earnest admirer of Pnin and Lolita
...: Martin Amis essay
Date
Body
EDNOTE. Interesting --after a preprandial Scotch. As a glimpse into the
young manhood of the editor I would mention that I recall getting so annoyed
with _Augie March_(Marsh?), that I finished reading it in the shower (over
several weeks 40-some years ago) and tearing out each page as I finished it.
Yeah, _Humboldt's GIFT_, that was the onew I liked, sort of....

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Brown" <as-brown@comcast.net>
>
> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (85
lines) ------------------
> Nice to catch a note by you, Rodney. And I have to give a conditional
assent
> to your opinion on Augie. There's some Bellow work I've enjoyed immensely
> and reread and reread. Henderson and Humboldt being two. But somehow Augie
> was one of those that, after a series of dutiful evenings, I found myself
> just not picking up any more. Still haven't finished it, but will try and
> make myself do that, to give it a fair shake.
>
> Regarding milieux: couple months ago reread a book that, in my teens, I
> found enthralling, and which really influenced my earliest writing (for
good
> or ill). The Studs Lonigan trilogy by James T. Farrell. Was shocked at how
> clumsy and garrulous much of it sounds to me now. And how blindly and
> thumpingly Farrell was trying to Joycify his stuff. But still found many
> moments of uniquely American brutishness and wit.
>
> I doubt Nabokov would have found much of value in Farrell. I've seen no
sign
> that he ever read any of his work.
>
> AB
>
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "D. Barton Johnson" <chtodel@cox.net>
> To: <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 11:43 AM
> Subject: Fw: Fw: Saul Bellow -- an earnest admirer of Pnin and Lolita ...:
> Martin Amis essay
>
>
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Rodney Welch" <rodney41@mindspring.com>
> >
> > > ----------------- Message requiring your approval (48
> > lines) ------------------
> > > 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.
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >
> > >
>