Saturday, 8 February 2014

Herzog

Herzog is a brilliant masterpiece by Saul Bellow.In stead of talking to people , he writes letters , mostly in his mind , and some on paper , some to living persons , some to dead, some to ordinary persons , some to the famous.It is autobiographical, and has a style which only few writers  can  reach in a life time .It is not that I could understand and grasp the novel in full .It is too subtle and complicated to be fully understood  on first reading .But it makes you feel that you are on a journey , in the company of a great and honest mind .
                              The book is a series of meditations , philosophical musings , emotional depths and  sublime experiences , woven around and inside a story.It  deals  with  multi-layered  relationships , from the purest love of Herzog for his daughter , to the most complicated one with  Madeliene who brought an" ideology" into his life .He searches for truth through the maze of hypocrisy , alienation and boredom .But the novel  is not only about ruminations ;it has a story and a well developed structure also.
                             Herzog is a Professor in a university .It is natural that he frequently meanders into the thoughts and works of other well known philosophers.But as the book approaches its end , he seems to have found an equilibrium .
                     If you are the type who wants to read light , lucid novels , this one is not for you.For the rest , I recommend  to read it , just to admire Saul Bellow for the style of his writing and honesty of his content.