The recipient of several literary awards and the winner of The Nobel Prize Saul Bellow is one of the most scrutinized writers in contemporary American literature. He has been praised for producing insightful and compelling fiction. As a novelist he rejects the orthodoxy of modernism. He claims a place of honor along with Donate, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Dostoievski. Herzog is one of his finest achievements.

Bellow was born in Lachine, Quebec, Canada on June 10, 1915. He was the son of   a Russian immigrant. His father was a businessman. After graduating he decided to become a writer. He has written 17 novels, short story collections and literary and political essays on the contemporary American scene. The titles of his popular novels are- Dangling Man, The Victim, The Adventures of Augie March, Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Humboldt's Gift,  The Dean's December, and More Die of Heartbreak. Bellow left this world in the age of 89.

The private and inner life has been the subject of Saul Bellow's writings. His work is distinguished by his humanistic concern for character and his clear-sighted analysis of contemporary society. His early novels are praised for breaking away from the harshness of naturalism and his later novels for their thought-provoking expansiveness. The persistent "I" is the characteristic of all Bellow's writings. Bellow often writes about people who feel that they do not belong in the world due to absurdity and chaos. Many of his stories are both sad and funny at the same time. Bellow’s each book contains the spirit of the age. In short, Bellow's novels present his affirmative belief in essential humanistic values as well as his clear-eyed descriptions of modern America's moral, social, and intellectual depravity.

 After returning from the merchant marine Bellow wrote his debut novel Dangling Man in 1944. It brilliantly reflected the climate of moral despair that presided over wartime America. Here he creates anti-heroes who struggle against pressures of the modern world.  The Adventures of Augie March established him as a leading American novelist. It marked the beginning of the second phase of his literary career. In this phase Bellow sharply reacted against the apathy and ascetism of modernism. Henderson the Rain King marks the beginning of his golden period as a novelist. Herzog belongs to the same phase. It fuses the formal realism of his early works with the vitality of his picaresque novels of the 1950s. Bellow's novels of this period have been characterized by a new wholeness of vision. Humboldt's Gift deals with death and The Dean's December attacks negative social forces.

Herzog is one of Bellow's best novels, written at the height of his career. It is a novel set in 1964, in the United States. It is about the midlife crisis of a middle-aged professor named Moses E. Herzog. Here Bellow presents a multifaceted portrait of a modern-day hero. He is a man struggling with the complexity of existence and longing for redemption. Herzog's relationships with women and friends and also with society and himself are the central theme of this novel. Letters from the protagonist constitute much of the text. His own thoughts and thought processes are laid bare in these letters.
 Bellow is the innovator of unique style. He is recognized as a highly original contemporary stylist. He is praised for his vision, his ear for detail, his humor and the masterful artistry of his prose. His prose style features sudden flashes of wit and philosophical epigrams. His words are colloquial and mandarin, streetwise and intimate. For him fiction was a higher form of autobiography. In his works the descriptions of characters' emotions and physical features are rich in wit and energy. At the level of content, the psychological clarification is reflected stylistically. The water and fish symbols are very significant in his novels.

 Bellow’s art of characterization is superb. Among his most famous characters are Augie March, Herzog, Arthur Sammler, and Charlie Citrine. They are funny, charming, disillusioned, neurotic, and intelligent. They are subtle observers of the modern American way of life. Bellow has presented a variety of women having contradictory traits in his novels. In developing his characters Bellow emphasizes dialogue and interior monologue. Herzog received praise for its colorful minor characters. Its protagonist is a brilliant but pathetic character.The beauty of this novel lies in the dissection of his mind.

CONCLUSION: Thus Saul Bellow is one of the greatest novelists of modern period. His contribution to the development of novel is significant. His novels are the outcome of his strong vision and unique style.


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