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Character and Narration in the Short Fiction of Saul Bellow


Marianne M. Friedrich

This first comprehensive study of Saul Bellow's short fiction examines a diversity of Bellow's realistic characters ranging from the singularity of simple women to the complexity of his talking intellectuals. These individual, in depth interpretations, with their constant focus on the intricate correlation of character and narration, reveal Bellow's changing short story strategies to achieve different levels of meaning beyond the realistic bases of the narratives. Against the modernist background of Picasso's creative destruction of reality, Bellow insists on mimesis in his fictional assessment of his art. Mimesis becomes modified in Bellow's latest short fictions indicating an incisive shift towards parable, romance, fairytale, and myth.