Zitate von Saul Bellow

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Saul Bellow

Geburtstag: 10. Juni 1915
Todesdatum: 5. April 2005
Andere Namen:სოლ ბელოუ, سال بلو

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Saul Bellow war ein US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Träger des Nobelpreises für Literatur. Seine mehrfach ausgezeichneten Romane, Erzählungen und Essays verschafften ihm die Anerkennung, neben Bernard Malamud und Philip Roth zu den bedeutendsten Vertretern der jüdisch-amerikanischen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts zu zählen.

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Zitate Saul Bellow

„You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.“

—  Saul Bellow
As quoted in The #1 New York Times Bestseller (1992) by John Bear, p. 93

„Human beings can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.“

—  Saul Bellow
"Him with His Foot in His Mouth," from Him with His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories (1984) [Penguin Classics, 1998, ], p. 11

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„In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as our education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves. Foreword to The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom (1987)

„In an age of enormities, the emotions are naturally weakened.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: In an age of enormities, the emotions are naturally weakened. We are continually called upon to have feelings — about genocide, for instance, or about famine or the blowing up of passenger planes — and we are all aware that we are incapable of reacting appropriately. A guilty consciousness of emotional inadequacy or impotence makes people doubt their own human weight. "The Distracted Public" (1990), p. 156

„There is no need to make an inventory of the times. It is demoralizing to describe ourselves to ourselves yet again.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: There is no need to make an inventory of the times. It is demoralizing to describe ourselves to ourselves yet again. It is especially hard on us since we believe (as we have been educated to believe) that history has formed us and that we are all mini-summaries of the present age. "Mozart: An Overture" (1992), pp. 13-14

„Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches. As quoted in The Portable Curmudgeon (1987) by Jon Winokur, p. 219

„The soul has to find and hold its ground against hostile forces, sometimes embodied in ideas which frequently deny its very existence, and which indeed often seem to be trying to annul it altogether.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as our education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves—to that part of us which is conscious. … The independence of this consciousness, which has the strength to be immune to the noise of history and the distractions of our immediate surroundings, is what the life struggle is all about. The soul has to find and hold its ground against hostile forces, sometimes embodied in ideas which frequently deny its very existence, and which indeed often seem to be trying to annul it altogether. pp. 16-17

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„A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life. It tells us that for every human being there is a diversity of existences, that the single existence is itself an illusion in part, that these many existences signify something, tend to something, fulfill something; it promises us meaning, harmony, and even justice. Nobel Prize lecture (12 December 1976)

„So we are in the position of savage men who, however, have been educated into believing that they are capable of understanding everything. Not that we actually do understand, but that we have the capacity.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: There's something that remains barbarous in educated people, and lately I've more and more had the feeling that we are nonwondering primitives. And why is it that we no longer marvel at these technological miracles? They've become the external facts of every life. We've all been to the university, we've had introductory courses in everything, and therefore we have persuaded ourselves that if we had the time to apply ourselves to these scientific marvels, we would understand them. But of course that's an illusion. It couldn't happen. Even among people who have had careers in science. They know no more about how it all works than we do. So we are in the position of savage men who, however, have been educated into believing that they are capable of understanding everything. Not that we actually do understand, but that we have the capacity. "A Half Life" (1990), pp. 302-303

„Out of the struggle at the center has come an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: Writers are greatly respected. The intelligent public is wonderfully patient with them, continues to read them, and endures disappointment after disappointment, waiting to hear from art what it does not hear from theology, philosophy, social theory, and what it cannot hear from pure science. Out of the struggle at the center has come an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for. Nobel Prize lecture http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1976/bellow-lecture.html (12 December 1976)

„There's something that remains barbarous in educated people, and lately I've more and more had the feeling that we are nonwondering primitives.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: There's something that remains barbarous in educated people, and lately I've more and more had the feeling that we are nonwondering primitives. And why is it that we no longer marvel at these technological miracles? They've become the external facts of every life. We've all been to the university, we've had introductory courses in everything, and therefore we have persuaded ourselves that if we had the time to apply ourselves to these scientific marvels, we would understand them. But of course that's an illusion. It couldn't happen. Even among people who have had careers in science. They know no more about how it all works than we do. So we are in the position of savage men who, however, have been educated into believing that they are capable of understanding everything. Not that we actually do understand, but that we have the capacity. "A Half Life" (1990), pp. 302-303

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„It is risky in a book of ideas to speak in one’s own voice, but it reminds us that the sources of the truest truths are inevitably profoundly personal.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: As a scholar [Allan Bloom] intends to enlighten us, and as a writer he has learned from Aristophanes and other models that enlightenment should also be enjoyable. To me, this is not the book of a professor, but that of a thinker who is willing to take the risks more frequently taken by writers. It is risky in a book of ideas to speak in one’s own voice, but it reminds us that the sources of the truest truths are inevitably profoundly personal. … Academics, even those describing themselves as existentialists, very seldom offer themselves publicly and frankly as individuals, as persons. p. 12

„Writers, poets, painters, musicians, philosophers, political thinkers, to name only a few of the categories affected, must woo their readers, viewers, listeners, from distraction.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: Writers, poets, painters, musicians, philosophers, political thinkers, to name only a few of the categories affected, must woo their readers, viewers, listeners, from distraction. To this we must add, for simple realism demands it, that these same writers, painters, etc., are themselves the children of distraction. As such, they are peculiarly qualified to approach the distracted multitudes. They will have experienced the seductions as well as the destructiveness of the forces we have been considering here. This is the destructive element in which we do not need to be summoned to immerse ourselves, for we were born to it. "The Distracted Public" (1990), p. 167

„The principles of Western liberalism seem no longer to lend themselves to effective action. Deprived of the expressive power, we are awed by it, have a hunger for it, and are afraid of it.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: The principles of Western liberalism seem no longer to lend themselves to effective action. Deprived of the expressive power, we are awed by it, have a hunger for it, and are afraid of it. Thus we praise the gray dignity of our soft-spoken leaders, but in our hearts we are suckers for passionate outbursts, even when those passionate outbursts are hypocritical and falsely motivated. "Literary Notes on Khrushchev" (1961), p. 36

„The sounds of junk culture are heard over a ground bass of extremism. Our entertainments swarm with specters of world crisis. Nothing moderate can have any claim to our attention.“

—  Saul Bellow
Context: Much of junk culture has a core of crisis — shoot-outs, conflagrations, bodies weltering in blood, naked embracers or rapist-stranglers. The sounds of junk culture are heard over a ground bass of extremism. Our entertainments swarm with specters of world crisis. Nothing moderate can have any claim to our attention. "A Second Half Life" (1991), p. 326

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