Him with His Foot in His Mouth, and Other Stories (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
Him with His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories, Saul Bellow’s latest book, is only his second collection of short fiction. It is his first book since The Dean’s December, published in 1982. Of the five works collected here, four were previously published in magazines. The one exception is “Cousins,” the novella that concludes the volume. Comic in tone, exuberant in its rich mining of character, Him with His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories is a collection of highly digressive tales concentrating on a familiar Bellow theme: the spiritual decline of modern America. Ever distrustful of the abstract thinking which allows human beings to justify unspeakable horrors, Bellow focuses once again on the importance of feeling and commitment as remedies for the spiritual disease afflicting the United States in the late twentieth century. Though these themes are familiar, several new features characterize this latest book: the use of large amounts of autobiographical material and a near obsession with the details of physical infirmity and aging. In its wedding of humor and intellectual content, Him with His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories returns to the mood and style of Bellow’s works prior to The Dean’s December and the nonfictional To Jerusalem and Back (1976).
The most humorous, least...
(The entire section is 3882 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
America. CLI, July 7, 1984, p. 16.
Christian Century. CI, September 12, 1984, p. 848.
Library Journal. CIX, June 15, 1984, p. 1251.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. June 3, 1984, p. 1.
The National Review. XXXVI, August 10, 1984, p. 48.
The New York Review of Books. XXXI, July 19, 1984, p. 28.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXIX, May 20, 1984, p. 1.
Newsweek. CIII, May 14, 1984, p. 76.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXV, April 13, 1984, p. 51.
Time. CXXIII, May 14, 1984, p. 84.
USA Today. May 18, 1984, p. 3D.
The Wall Street Journal. CCIII, June 29, 1984, p. 28.
(The entire section is 70 words.)