Dispatches and Details From a Life in Literature
By MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times, Published: November 8, 2010
LETTERS By Saul Bellow
Edited by Benjamin Taylor. Illustrated. 571 pages. Viking. $35.
"Herzog, the title character of Saul Bellow’s 1964 novel, is famously a writer of letters he never sends, letters to friends, rivals, relatives and strangers; letters that satisfy his craving “to explain, to have it out, to justify, to put in perspective, to clarify, to make amends.” The letters are, by turns, cranky, coruscating, clever and cerebral: the outpourings of a man overflowing with ideas and grievances, and reeling from the complications of his life and the stubborn mystifications of the world around him.
The real-life letters of Herzog’s creator...