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Quest for Salvation in Saul Bellow's Novels

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Kyung-Ae Kim

This book is an enlightening study on some of the problems involved in interpreting Bellow's novels. It examines the current critical approaches and discusses Bellow's literary position in close connection with Romanticism and Modernism. This study is engaged in exploring the nature of the Bellovian hero's quasi-religious or even mystical quest for salvation. How does the hero encounter the moment of vision? At what moment? And what are the nature and the character of the epiphanic experiences in Bellow's novels? These central issues are examined in links with the Jewish-Christian tradition and Zen Buddhism. The study concludes from the analyis of Henderson the Rain King, Herzog and Humboldt's Gift that the Bellovian hero's quest for salvation is presented with irony and skepticism, though with a deep religious vein.
Contents: The Conceptual Frameworks of Salvation - Saul Bellow's Vision of Salvation - Analyses of three novels