Monday, April 27, 2009

Now that I've finally finished the (staggering) Augie March, four more notes on it:

1. Bellow carries on introducing new characters right up until page 613 of this 616-page book, finishing with the "grotesque" maid Jacqueline, who gets a 300-word paragraph of description even though there is no longer time for her to do anything whatsoever. That is awesome.

2. Relatedly, the book contains my favourite ever compound adjective: "furniture-insatiable", about Einhorn's wife Tillie.

3. Martin Amis often mentions Bellow as an influence, and this passage very much seems to prefigure some of aspects of Amis' style:

"Around him spectators from the millions gowping at him, famine-marks, louse-vehicles, the supply of wars, the living fringe of a great number sunk in the ground, dead, and buzzing or jumping over Asia like diatoms of the vast bath of the ocean in the pins of the sun."

4. Someone called Trevor has, for some reason, used an OCR programme to post the entire text online here, which is useful if you want to look anything up.

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