, Mar 29, 2013
- 400 pages
Moses E. Herzog, the protagonist of Saul Bellow’s Herzog finds himself in a pickle. He may be handsome, witty and wise, but his wife has just taken off with his best friend, and he is without resources to face his troubles. What is an academic to do when his personal life turns to chaos? Well this one writes letters—to enemies and friends, the living and the dead, politicians and philosophers—and even to God, though this last, along with the others, remains undelivered. An eccentric and vivid crowd of family and friends, keen to intervene as “reality instructors”, make things a lot worse for Herzog. And there’s no help in the books he has spent a lifetime studying. As Herzog’s comic predicament unfolds, we enter a mind as dazzling and brilliant as it is turbulent and confused, and we come away from the encounter surprisingly moved and satisfied.