Bellow Between Hebraism and Hellenism

Bellow’s whole career as a writer was devoted to this dichotomy, sometimes veering toward one pole, sometimes toward the other, but never losing sight of both.

Saul Bellow in 1989. Kevin Horan/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images.

Saul Bellow in 1989. Kevin Horan/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images.

Response
Oct. 16 2019
About the author

Hillel Halkin’s books include Yehuda HaleviAcross the Sabbath RiverMelisande: What are Dreams? (a novel), Jabotinsky: A Life (2014), and, most recently, After One-Hundred-and-Twenty (Princeton). 


Once, if asked to respond to Ruth Wisse’s fine and penetrating essay on Saul Bellow’s Jewishness, I would have made a point of re-reading each of the novels discussed by her. Having become stingier with my time, however, I decided to make do with re-reading just Ravelstein—and, even then, three surprises awaited me.

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More about: American Jewish literature, Arts & Culture, Saul Bellow