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Against DemocracyLiterary Experience in the Era of Emancipations$
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Simon During

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242542

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242542.001.0001

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Saul Bellow and the Antinomies of Democratic Experience

Saul Bellow and the Antinomies of Democratic Experience

Chapter:
(p.123) Seven Saul Bellow and the Antinomies of Democratic Experience
Source:
Against Democracy
Author(s):

Simon During

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823242542.003.0008

This chapter reads Saul Bellow as Tocqueville's heir, as offering descriptions of American life that attempt to combine an affirmation of “nobility” and heroism with an affirmation, even a love, of ordinariness and the mundane. It offers a synoptic account of Bellow's career and argues that as his career continues his complex, divided sense of democratic life becomes more and more delirious, and indeed more and more attuned to what lies outside the simply human. That is partly because he has such a strong understanding of how intellectual life in a democracy is not just driven towards incoherence but towards increasing the confusions and distortions under which we all live.

Keywords:   Democracy, Saul Bellow, neoconservatism, mysticism

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