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There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction
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"Bellow's nonfiction has the same strengths as his stories and novels: a dynamic responsiveness to character, place and time (or era) . . . And you wonder—what other highbrow writer, or indeed lowbrow writer has such a reflexive grasp of the street, the machine, the law courts, the rackets?" —Martin Amis, The New York Times Book ReviewThe year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow's birth, the tenth anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader's much anticipated biography. Bellow, a Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only novelist to receive three National Book awards, has long been regarded as one of America's most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed Saul Bellow: Letters, presents lesser-known aspects of the iconic writer.Arranged chronologically, this literary time capsule displays the full extent of Bellow's nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and other reflections, tracing his career from his initial success as a novelist until the end of his life. Bringing together six classic pieces with an abundance of previously uncollected material, There Is Simply Too Much to Think About is a powerful reminder not only of Bellow's genius but also of his enduring place in the western canon and is sure to be widely reviewed and talked about for years to come.
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Street Date:
03/31/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780698141766
ASIN:
B00LFZ85H4
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APA Citation (style guide)

Saul Bellow. (2015). There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Saul Bellow. 2015. There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Saul Bellow, There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction. Penguin Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Saul Bellow. There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction. Penguin Publishing Group, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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There Is Simply Too Much to Think About
fullDescription
"Bellow's nonfiction has the same strengths as his stories and novels: a dynamic responsiveness to character, place and time (or era) . . . And you wonder—what other highbrow writer, or indeed lowbrow writer has such a reflexive grasp of the street, the machine, the law courts, the rackets?" —Martin Amis, The New York Times Book Review

The year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow's birth, the tenth anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader's much anticipated biography. Bellow, a Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only novelist to receive three National Book awards, has long been regarded as one of America's most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed Saul Bellow: Letters, presents lesser-known aspects of the iconic writer.
Arranged chronologically, this literary time capsule displays the full extent of Bellow's nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and other reflections, tracing his career from his initial success as a novelist until the end of his life. Bringing together six classic pieces with an abundance of previously uncollected material, There Is Simply Too Much to Think About is a powerful reminder not only of Bellow's genius but also of his enduring place in the western canon and is sure to be widely reviewed and talked about for years to come.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        December 1, 2014
        This rich but unorganized collection of Bellow’s reviews, essays, speeches, and interviews illuminate his lifelong exploration of what it means to be an American, a Jew, and a writer. As assembled by Taylor, the pieces succeed in showing that Bellow’s calling was, in the novelist’s own words, “not to preach but to relate.” In the essay “The Writer as Moralist,” Bellow rejects the art-for-art’s-sake ethos of novelists like Flaubert and Joyce, but stops short of claiming to be a moralist. In “Machines and Storybooks: Literature in the Age of Technology,” Bellow examines the dilemma facing writers in American culture, asking, “How do you overcome this noise?” His answer is that storytelling acts like a nervous system, filtering the modern world’s abundance of sensation and information and allowing us to find the “quiet of the soul that art demands.” Some readers will appreciate that Taylor does not impose his own perspective on the pieces, yet in the absence of any introduction, commentary, or footnotes, those new to Bellow may have the same problem he did: “there is simply too much to think about.”

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        December 1, 2014
        A nonfiction collection celebrates the centennial of Saul Bellow's (1915-2005) birth.Nobel Prize winner Bellow was a prolific writer of nonfiction: essays, reviews, interviews, talks and memoirs. Organized by decade, the 57 pieces in this volume, edited by Taylor (Naples Declared: A Walk Around the Bay, 2012, etc.), trace both Bellow's writing career and his outspoken opinions on politics, literature and intellectual life in America during the second half of the 20th century. After publishing Dangling Man (1944) and The Victim (1947), "two very correct books" that he thought would establish his credentials as a novelist, Bellow won his first National Book Award in 1954 for "a speculative biography," The Adventures of Augie March. Critical acclaim for that novel established his reputation; many more prestigious awards followed, as did opportunities to publish his views. Some of the most interesting pieces here are autobiographical. Born in Canada to Russian immigrants, growing up in Depression-era Chicago, Bellow knew early in his life that he wanted to be a writer. "I felt that I was born to be a performing and interpretive creature," he wrote, "that I was meant to take part in a peculiar, exalted game." As a young man, he looked up to such critics as Edmund Wilson, who supported him for a Guggenheim Fellowship, but by 1975, he had changed his mind dramatically: "Critics use strength gathered from the past to pummel the present," he announced scornfully. Nevertheless, Bellow found himself in a critic's role throughout his career, deriding novelists who were didactic and those more interested in being intellectual over telling a good story. He also bristled at being categorized as a Jewish writer: "I was a Jew and an American and a writer and I believed that by being described as a 'Jewish writer' I was being shunted to a siding." This comprehensive collection illuminates Bellow's sense of his own identity and his changing world.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2015
        Saul Bellowa giant literary figure in the American pantheonneeds no more introduction than that. The purity and dynamism of his prose needs as little introduction, because the beauty and power of his writing are universally acknowledged. But that he wrote many nonfiction pieces, which appeared in a very wide variety of periodicals (says editor Taylor, editor also of Saul Bellow: Letters, 2011), will perhaps come as news to even many Bellow enthusiasts. These essays, arranged chronologically by decade, from the 1950s to the 1990s, collectively say one thing about Bellow: as a writer, he looked everywhere and thought about everything. Books, movies, and places all fall within his embracing purview, and while his sharpness of mind rides high in all his writings, his wise expression is always free of pretension. Bellow may recollect a visit to Franco's Spain ( The police come first to your notice . . . taking precedence over the people, the streets and the landscape ) or wax poetic about Paris ( There are few things more pleasant, more civilized, than a tranquil terrasse at dusk ) or survey modern fiction ( In Madame Bovary art itself makes up for lack of mind or heart in the characters ), but his heart and soul remained turned toward Chicago ( You can't be neutral about a place where you have lived so long ). Every serious reader of contemporary literature should take advantage of the impressive journey through Bellow's luminous prose and illuminating mind offered here.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2015

        The reputation of American writer Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March; Herzog; Mr. Sammler's Planet) was cemented long before he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976; that honor and an unprecedented three National Book Awards only bolstered the legend. Now on the centenary of Bellow's birth, Taylor (editor, Saul Bellow: Letters) collects a hodgepodge of more than 50 pieces--essays, lectures, interviews, speeches, criticism, and other ruminations--written between 1948 and 2000. Topics range from observations on the author's native Chicago and environs ("Starting Out in Chicago," "Chicago: The City That Was, the City That Is") to meditations on writing and reading ("Hemingway and the Image of Man," "Deep Readers of the World, Beware!") to thoughts on culture and politics and Judaism ("Israel: The Six-Day War," "There Is Simply Too Much To Think About"). The cutting and cautionary 1978 essay "Coda: Why Not?" focuses on the "difficulties faced by young Americans who are determined to write poems or novels or paint pictures" and strikes an appropriate endnote for these mostly lesser-known pieces. VERDICT The acclaimed novels and short fiction published during Bellow's lifetime (1915-2005) stand on their own, but these dozens of snapshots offer insight into the mind of a contemporary master, reminding readers anew of the formidable breadth and depth of the author's erudition and his unceasing, uncompromising passion for literature. Even a decade after his death, this collection illuminates Bellow's continued relevance and confirms his standing as one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. [See Prepub Alert, 9/29/14.]--Patrick A. Smith, Bainbridge State Coll., GA

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 15, 2014

        Issued in time for the centenary of Bellow's birth and the tenth anniversary of his death, this work collects the Nobel laureate's nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and his Nobel lecture. Taylor is also responsible for Saul Bellow: Letters.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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"Bellow's nonfiction has the same strengths as his stories and novels: a dynamic responsiveness to character, place and time (or era) . . . And you wonder – what other highbrow writer, or indeed lowbrow writer has such a reflexive grasp of the street, the machine, the law courts, the rackets?" — Martin Amis, The New York Times Book Review

The year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow's birth, the tenth anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader's much anticipated biography. Bellow, a Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only novelist to receive three National Book awards, has long been regarded as one of America's most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed Saul Bellow: Letters, presents lesser-known aspects of the iconic writer.
Arranged chronologically, this literary time capsule displays the full extent of Bellow's nonfiction, including...
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