Saul Bellow: The Adventures of Augie March

(2589 words)
  • Richard O’Brien (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Saul Bellow’s third novel won the National Book Award in its year of publication. It is structured around the episodic adventures of Augie March, a “larky and boisterous” modern-day picaro who is a lover of experience for its own sake and restlessly craves for “a worthwhile fate”. In contrast to Bellow’s earlier introverted protagonists, Augie openly embraces the external world. In his own words, he is on a journey of discovery as a “sort of Columbus of those near-at-hand”. To all appearances he is constantly and aimlessly on the move, the motivation behind his adventures being to discover “something greater than myself”, although this “something” is not satisfactorily explained. He says he is seeking to …

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O’Brien, Richard. "The Adventures of Augie March". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 November 2005
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Picaresque narrative
  2. Jewish American Writing