Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Required reading

Note to self and others: Put down the goddamn coleslaw, stop watching the Real World-Road Rules Challenge on Tivo, and read some more Saul Bellow.

I know an exceptionally well-read, burned-out lawyer who argues that The Adventures of Augie March is the great American novel. (I vote for All the King's Men.) Bellow was the laureate of Chicago, a big-idea man who riffed on both the Classics and the working class in near-perfect prose, and a genuinely canonical figure. Read Seize the Day, then read Herzog, and then ponder the shallowness of today's celebrated novelists. (I'm glaring at you, Park Slope.)

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