About the BookSaul Bellow’s writing exhibited the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of Western culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes interspersed with philosophic conversation—all developed with wit and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications “that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age.
Bellow has been a very popular writer and his books have attracted readers in large number. His popularity is not conditioned so much by his descriptions of American social disturbances or chaos in his books as by something that lies hidden behind the descriptions. Truly enough, Bellow is a writer of an era of chaos and disillusionment, but his approach is neither defeatist nor negative in nature; instead, it is something vigorously optimistic and positive in spirit.
Though realism and naturalism are the main factors in the making of his fictional imagination, yet romanticism too has a great influence over it. His insistence upon the uniqueness and importance of the individual, his stress upon the intuitional nature of knowledge, his realization of the insufficiency of science to explain the mystery of life, his call for a rebellion against the tyranny of social savagery, his belief in the infinite potentiality of human existence and his sense of obligation of every individual to live up to the very best in him, indicate his attitude and inclination towards romanticism. He drew nourishment and vigour from the great Russian writers, from Indian philosophy and religious thought as well as from Jewish and American culture.
His work addresses the disorienting nature of modern civilization, and the counterveiling ability of humans to overcome their frailty and achieve greatness or atleast awareness. The main characters in Bellow’s fiction have heroic potential, and many times they stand in contrast to the negative forces of society. Often these characters are Jewish and have a sense of alienation.
The book critically examines and elaborates all the major novels and short stories written by Saul Bellow, in detail. It will be useful for the students of English literature in general and English fiction in particular. To those who wish to deeply understand Saul Bellow and his fiction, it will provide a richly rewarding reading.About the Author/sIshteyaque Shams, topper of his batch and Ex-Professor of English in the Faculty of Languages of Al-Fateh University, Tripoli (Libya), North Africa, has published three books and a large number of articles in different scholarly journals and anthologies in India and abroad. He has presented papers in several national and International conferences, which certainly reflects his wide range of scholarship. He is also M.A. in Hindi, Urdu, History and Political Science besides having B.Ed; LL.B; PGDTE; and Proficiency Certificates in French and Russian Languages.
Dr. Shams is associated with several literary forums and is life member of Indo-American Centre for International Studies, Hyderabad; Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad; and The Association for English Studies of India, New Delhi. At present he is Head of the Department of English of R.L.S.Y. College, Bettiah, a constituent unit of B.R. Ambedkar Bihar University, and is also engaged in supervising the works of many research scholars pursuing Ph.D.