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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Saul Bellow’s details

The best writers know how to make us readers see what’s in a room, and what’s going on in the scene, and where we are at in the world. In this little gem, Bellow finds the details in how one man’s life (or any life?) can be led with purpose. This, my friends, is writing:

january 18, 2012

“And this universal eligibility to be noble, taught everywhere, was what gave Simon airs of honor, Iroquois posture and eagle bearing, the lithe step that didn’t crack a twig, the grace of Chevalier Bayard and the hand of Cincinnatus at the plow, the industry of the Nassau Street match-boy who became the king of corporations. Without a special gift of vision, maybe you wouldn’t have seen it in most of us, lining up in the school-yard on a red fall morning, standing on the gravel in black sheepskins and twisted black stockings, mittens, Western gauntlets, and peeling shoes, while the drum and bugle corps blasted and pounded and the glassy tides of wind drove weeds, leaves, and smoke around, struck the flag stiff and clanked the buckle of the rope on the steel pole.”

– Saul Bellow, “The Adventures of Augie March”

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