SEIZE THE DAY by Saul Bellow

SEIZE THE DAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bellow's curious new admixture (a long short story, several shorter, and a play) stands midway between the Kalkaesque Dangling Man and the vital, tragicomic Adventures of Augie March. The title piece, a truncated novelette which is heavily introspective, concerns a New York Jew who has failed miserably in marriage, as he longs for love and respect from his proud physician father, and earns a livelihood as a salesman and investor. During the moment of recognition he realizes that his life, dependent as it is on the past, is a futile anachronism. Complementing this is a story reminiscent of James' Aspern Papers: a young fancier of a great poet travels to Spain in search of unpublished writings and discovers that the pressing facts of the immediate world must override any literary sentiment. The driving need of a social worker to deliver a relief check becomes, in a vivid, skillful piece, an expression of the anonymity of the poor and the importance of human identity. The best of the three short stories tells of a lover's vacillating emotions, and conveys how the grossest and the pettiest calculations in all people are inseparable from their capacity for goodness and humanity. A playlet concludes this dissimilar collection and suggests new avenues for Bellow's several talents. For a more selective audience, a provocative collection of incidental pieces.
Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1956
ISBN: 0142437611
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1956




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