It All Adds Up: From the Dim Past to the Uncertain Future

It All Adds Up: From the Dim Past to the Uncertain Future

by Saul Bellow
     
 

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Saul Bellow's fiction, honored by a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer, among other awards, has made him a literary giant. Now the man himself and a lifetime of his insightful views on a range of topics spring off the page in this, his first nonfiction collection, which encompasses articles, lectures, essays, travel pieces, and an "Autobiography of Ideas." It All

Overview

Saul Bellow's fiction, honored by a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer, among other awards, has made him a literary giant. Now the man himself and a lifetime of his insightful views on a range of topics spring off the page in this, his first nonfiction collection, which encompasses articles, lectures, essays, travel pieces, and an "Autobiography of Ideas." It All Adds Up is a fascinating journey through literary America over the last forty years, guided by one of the "most gifted chroniclers in the Western World" (The London Times).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fans of Nobel Prize-winning author Bellow should enjoy this wide-ranging selection of more than 30 nonfiction pieces--lectures and articles reprinted from Esquire , the New Republic , the New York Times , etc. Bellow's roving and astute eye produces memorable reportage, such as a portrait of a retired Chicago con man and other Windy City scenes, and his view of the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. He also offers neat sketches of colleagues like Allan Bloom, John Berryman and John Cheever. But the meat of the book is Bellow's tart, sometimes dyspeptic cultural commentary, exemplified by his Nobel Lecture criticizing writers for failing to challenge orthodoxies, and his laments at the useless distractions of the Information Revolution and the intellectual frivolities of bohemian New York City. Invoking Tolstoy, Nabokov and Flaubert, among others, Bellow muses on the novelist's responsibilities and, in three lively interviews, offers illuminating autobiographical reflections on reading, writing, teaching and life (``I've had more metamorphoses than I can count''). 50,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Bellow is America's writer, and in this superb collection of nonfiction essays he demonstates his vigilance of and loyalty to his country over a span of 45 years. From his earliest piece, a war report from Spain written for the Partisan Review (1948), to his Novel Prize lecture (1976), to a recent Forbes article entitled ``There Is Simply Too Much To Think About,'' Bellow is consumed by the idea of America--so great, so accomplished, so magical--destroying its soul. ``The cost of all the great successes,'' he writes in ``The Jefferson Lectures'' (1977), ``may be the abasement of man.'' The Chicago native is the conscience of his city, and Washington, and New York . He reports from the Sinai during the Six Day War and mingles at White House dinners; his trenchant observations rip through the standard rigmarole. The years have sharpened his craft, and his memory. An essential purchase, this just might kindle interest in Bellow's oeuvre ( More Die of Heartbreak ; Humboldt's Gift ) among a younger generation.-- Amy Boaz, ``Library Journal''
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
"It All Adds Up" is almost pedestrian in its rootedness in the solid world. The pieces are rigidly discursive and largely about a universe of more pedestrian facts....What Mr. Bellow traces in this collection is his tortuous route to the threshold of easiness.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140233650
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/1995
Series:
Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,185,402
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.82(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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