Saul Bellow Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

Saul Bellow Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Saul Bellow’s mature fiction can be considered a conscious challenge to modernism, the dominant literary tradition of the age. Bellow viewed modernism as a “victim literature” because it depicts alienated individuals who are conquered by their environments. According to Bellow, this “wasteland” tradition originated in the middle of the nineteenth century with the birth of French realism and culminated in the work of Samuel Beckett and other nihilistic contemporary writers. This victim literature reveals a horror of life and considers humanist values useless in a bleak, irrational world. Modernism assumes that the notion of the individual self that underlies the great tradition of the novel is an outmoded concept and that...

(The entire section is 6654 words.)