February 5, 2012

Literary Pick (**)

Herzog
-Saul Bellow





















In this book we read about an intellectual who is dealing with marital issues and friendship betrayal, a man, Herzog, who although seems oblivious to the trivialities of an average persons day to day life, is quite neurotic about his own, and tends to over-think of the wrongs and trespasses that have been committed against him. So much so, that he writes unsent letters to all the people who he hasn't had the pleasure of giving a piece of his mind.
I often wondered if Herzog's cerebral endowment is what negatively affected all of his personal relationships in life, or if the people surrounding him are insecure of their own place in the world of the intellectual elite.. or perhaps he's simply delusional? I mean, in this book, everyone, according to Herzog, had brain envy. When he finally decides to mentally move on from beautiful, captivating, breath-taking, almost equally as intelligent but psychotic wife Madeleine, who apparently was having an affair with his close friend, Gerbach, he declares, "Enjoy her- rejoice in her, you will not reach me through her, however. I know you sought me in her flesh, but I am no longer there". Sure, let it be said that we're all aware of Herzog's mensa-like mind, but that is an incredible amount of self-pomp, if you ask me.
As a read, the book is pretty much clear and straightforward. I could see how many readers might enjoy it more than I did. One thing I did find refreshing about the story is how Herzog, in the end, seems to find his way and comes to terms with accepting what has happened to him. Very Eat, Pray, Love. To be honest, I thought he was going to shoot his brains out in the Berkshire house. That would've been a very interesting ending.

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