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The Forum > Article Comments > Saul Bellow and the life and death of Augie March > Comments

Saul Bellow and the life and death of Augie March : Comments

By Pierre Tristam, published 18/4/2005

Pierre Tristam talks about Saul Bellow and his book

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It has been more than a year since this article of Mr. Tristam's appeared at this site. I thought "I'll post my own reflections on Bellow's novel. Mr. Tristam's piece deserves a follow-up."
The years 1956 to 1973 were the years of my “youth”, defined as my ‘teens and twenties’. Ada(1969), The Adventures of Augie March(1953), Seize the Day(1956), Go Tell It on the Mountain(1953) and The Painted Bird(1965) and others, too many to list here, could give us a literary and philosophical portrait of a generation. The portrait has many features. Here is one.-Ron Price with thanks to Frederick Karl, American Fiction: 1940-1980: A Comprehensive History and Critical Evaluation, Harper and Row, NY, 1983.

We were a schizoid generation
which was fed on paranoia,
but in small towns like mine
words like this meant very little
as we went to matinees and
ate great quantities of Jackie
Gleeson and I Love Lucy.

Back then, when things looked
calm, life was really tearing us
apart. The streets were quiet in
the cold winters when snow fell
softly in the evening and I played
road hockey and kissed Susan
Gregory warming my fingers but,
alas, only in my head.

Our fathers got angry, I mean
very angry and frightened us
to death and the cold war,
which we read and heard about
and saw on TV got colder until
it just about annihilated us in,
back in, what was it, October 1962?

Confronted by the paradoxes of
affluence, consumerism and
the desire to escape, move on,
be free,our generation got launched
in those sixties and I came to
faraway Australia.

And I kept moving on, and on,
some twenty-five towns
in the next thirty-seven years.
I escaped more times than you
could shake a stick at:
into ambition, into adventure,
away from unhappy marriages,
painful bosses, difficult jobs,
a false and a genuine idealism,
away from innocence into experience
which I saw as everything,grappling
with myself, my world and my religion,
for there is always some grappling.

Ron Price
May 25th 2006
Posted by Bahaichap, Thursday, 25 May 2006 11:54:23 PM
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