Saul Bellow (1915 - 2005)
Born in Canada of Russian Jewish parents, he lived mostly in Chicago. He wrote many novels whose protagonists are generally people torn between their jewish traditions and the American way of living. American pessimism, stress and fears are humorously analyzed, but he concludes that family ties, religious values, love and mutual help can save men from alienation. Saul Bellow was born in Lanchine, Quebec, in 1915, of Russian Jewish parents who had emigrated to Canada in 1913, When he was nine years old, Bellow's family moved to Chicago, where he had attended secondary school. From 1933 to 1937 he studied at the University of Chicago, then in Northestern University, where he graduated in 1937.
During the World War II he served in the U.S Merchant Marine from 1944 to 1945. He taught at the University of Minnesota from 1950 to 1953, then at New York University and Princeton; in 1968 he was appointed at the University of Chicago, and , in 1976, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work." He died in 2005. His most famous works include Dangling Man (1944), a Kafka psychological study, The Adventures of Augie March (1953), Herzog Hamboldt's Gift (1975).
Talking about the Herzog, it deals with the alienation of a Jewish intellectual, Moses Herzog, in actual America. Herzog feels betrayed by life; two broken marriages have left him alone, but the failure of his second marriage precipitates him into a deep intellectual crisis. He is living in New York, where he works as a teacher in an evening school for adult students but, after his second divorce, he has gradually become strange, "cracked", people think. He reconsiders his entire existence and decides to change his life. He leaves his home abandons the school and retires ti his abandoned estate at Ludeyvill, a remote village in the Berkshires (Massachusetts).