Saul Bellow: Seize the Day (469 words)


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Seize the Day (1956), Bellow’s most read book, is a sober and deliberate retreat from the exuberance of The Adventures of Augie March. While it has all the surface appearance of a “victim novel”, it has fewer of its pessimistic conclusions. The world of this novel appears to be the urban wasteland replete with the sepulchral Hotel Gloriana. Out of work as a salesman, and estranged from his wife and children, Tommy Wilhelm finds himself nearly penniless in early middle-age. As a young man he has rejected his father’s profession, medicine, tried for a career in Hollywood, been tricked by a phoney talent scout, ended up in sales and lost his sales district due to nepotism. The classic schlemiehl of Yiddish …

Citation: Cronin, Gloria. "Seize the Day". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2003 [, accessed 08 December 2022.]

2189 Seize the Day 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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