Bellow Was So Jewish He Could Travel Any Distance Without Risking That Allegiance

His reputation will fall and rise with his people’s.

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.

Ruth R. Wisse
response
Oct. 28 2019
About Ruth

Ruth R. Wisse is a Mosaic columnist, professor emerita of Yiddish and comparative literatures at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her memoir Free as a Jew: a Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation, chapters of which appeared in Mosaic in somewhat different form, will be published in September.

It was well worth my tracing of Saul Bellow’s entry into Anglo-American literature if only to elicit responses from Hillel Halkin and Adam Kirsch—keenest of readers, most learned of authors, and finest of critics.

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