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What does Herzog in Saul Bellow's Herzog mean by the following phrases: "Reality...

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mushtaq-mushtaq | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 15, 2012 at 4:15 AM via web

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What does Herzog in Saul Bellow's Herzog mean by the following phrases: "Reality Instructors," "Crisis Ethics," "Potato Love," and "Slacker's Life"?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM (Answer #1)

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"Reality Instructors:" These are people who normally as “street wise” and teach the intellectuals in Bellow’s novels emotional or spiritual truths not found in academic philosophy or literary criticism. They are often people who lack formal education but have a great depth of emotional experience.

"Crisis Ethics:" The quasi-existentialist notion that ethics are only forged in a crisis. Herzog, and by extension Bellow, disapprove of this notion of ethics which is contrasted with doing good in more ordinary, every day circumstances.

"Potato Love:" general and non-specific, almost shapeless affection as opposed to a specific and intense romantic passion

"Slacker's Life": A life that does not involve fulfilling one’s full artistic or intellectual potential

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