Saul Bellow: Ravelstein

(484 words)

Ravelstein (2000) is a memorial to the late Allan Bloom of the University of Chicago in which Bellow, posing as a Boswell, is writing a Johnsonian tribute to his late friend. Just as Bellow memorialized Isaac Rosenfeld and Delmore Schwartz in earlier fictions, he now memorializes Allan Bloom in this latest work.

At the age of 64 and for several years thereafter Bellow found in Allan Bloom the adoring and approving older father figure and Jewish soul mate he had never had. But Ravelstein also becomes a site upon which the narrator Chick/Bellow can imagine himself more fully, particularly as the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. Ravelstein is full of jokes, one-liners, and Catskill comedian gags which …

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Cronin, Gloria. "Ravelstein". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 October 2003
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]

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  1. Jewish American Writing