Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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News Wed Jul 22 2009

1965 NBA Winner: Herzog

Today the National Book Awards remembers their 1965 winner, Herzog by Saul Bellow.

herzog.jpgRebecca Newberger Goldstein, a 2008 National Book Awards fiction judge, writes of Bellow and his book: "Bellow is often cited as a hero of narrative realism, as having single-handedly, through the heft of his technique, held back the postmodern, meta-fictional, experiments-in-naval-gazing onslaught. But Saul Bellow's relationship with reality was as complicated and adversarial as any writer's before and after. He was not going to be the one to submit. Let reality submit. What a fighter the man was, a conquistador with dreamy Jewish eyes.

"It's extraordinary how many times Bellow calls out to his mighty antagonist by name: Reality. He uses the word more times than Kant and Hegel put together. That's what he was up against, the thing he was out to master and possess. His boot, cleated with metaphors, is planted smack on its exposed bulging neck. His famous style--the zealousness of his figurative language, the mixing of milky thought and bloody-raw meat--is never an end in itself but a means of taking possession."

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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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