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MR SAMMLER'S PLANET af Saul Bellow
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MR SAMMLER'S PLANET (original 1970; udgave 1977)

af Saul Bellow

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,518119,237 (3.76)24
Roman fra New York i 60'erne.
Medlem:johndoyle
Titel:MR SAMMLER'S PLANET
Forfattere:Saul Bellow
Info:1977.
Samlinger:Storage - B3
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Mr. Sammlers planet af Saul Bellow (1970)

  1. 10
    Gilead af Marilynne Robinson (browner56)
    browner56: The thoughtful and poignant reminiscences of two elderly men nearing the end of their lives
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» Se også 24 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
Interesting piece of literature. The writing is fragmented, erudite, needlessly confusing, and at times frustrating but this is done to convey a message about the protagonist, Mr. Sammler. There are parallel plots that really come into play about halfway into the book that help to keep the reading interesting. I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first. ( )
  dmbg | Sep 12, 2021 |
An interesting book about a Polish survivor of the Holocaust living out his days in New York City, it explores triumphs, tragedies, and an intellectual man who figuratively gets off his high horse (that is, sheds the feeling that he's better than everyone else) to have a little empathy for his fellow humans, through a series of incidents some of which are hard to believe. Most of the book centers on Artur Sammler's thoughts and musings about the decline of city life, but things start to get interesting when the pickpocket whose thefts he had been observing on the bus, follows him home and shows Sammler his manhood. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
Is it time for me to give up on Bellow? So many people I respect love old Saul. There's a Sufjan Stevens song with 'Saul Bellow' in the title. He's meant to be everything I like: a stylist, an intellectual, a cultural critic unafraid to speak his mind. And yet.

Plot spoiler alert, but really, the plot is beside the point: at the heart of this over-stuffed chair is a wonderful farce. Sammler's daughter steals/borrows a manuscript that Sammler has little use for; the best bits of the book consist in his attempts to give it back to its author. Also, Sammler becomes a little obsessed with a well-dressed pick-pocket. And someone is dying. And there are about 50 other little backstories that, in my experience at least, just detract from the gloriously farcical core.

I usually like books in which the main character is racist, sexist, homophobic, prudish and ridden by class biases, because I have no time for sentimental literature. Mr. Sammler is just such a man. Does he remain such a man at the end? He asks someone to stop the pick-pocket, who is trying to take yet another minor character's camera. The immigrant attacks the pickpocket, possibly intending to kill him, as a favor to Mr. Sammler, who is mortified.

The pickpocket is black; the man who intervenes is a declassee European immigrant. Mr. Sammler is, finally, able to connect with the pick-pocket who has previously held him against a wall so he, the pick-pocket, could wag his cock at the old Sammler.

Now, this could be a wonderful analogy for politics in America (where race trumps class every time; a black president can be elected, but never a poor one), but it obviously isn't. It could be about Sammler's psychology (latent guilt for killing a German whom he didn't have to kill, while fleeing from Nazis). But the main point seems to be that you can be a racist, sexist, homophobic prude, just so long as you prefer to avoid violence.

I don't like that, but there's a lot I should like about this book. There are some great bits of cultural conservatism:

"An oligarchy of technicians, engineers, the men who ran grand machines, infinitely more sophisticated than this automobile, would come to govern vast slums filled with bohemian adolescents, narcotized, beflowered, and 'whole'. He himself was a fragment, Mr. Sammler understood. And lucky to be that."

"Individualism is of no interest whatever if it does not extend truth."

"Democracy was propagandistic in its style. Conversation was often nothing but the repetition of liberal principles."

"They sought originality. They were obviously derivative. And of what--of Paiutes, of Fidel Castro? No, of Hollywood extras... better, thought Sammler, to accept the inevitability of imitation and then to imitate good things... make peace therefore with intermediacy and representation. But choose higher representations. Otherwise the individual must be the failure he now sees and knows himself to be."

And yet I found this book dull, dull, dull as can be, thanks to layers of 'realist' fluff, which hid all that cultural criticism and farce: every individual so finely delineated, even if they appeared only for three pages; every object described in 'loving' detail, even if it was totally inconsequential; every idea 'properly' embedded in a character's conscience. Without that, the novel would have been about 150 pages, and I would have loved it.

Or would I? Because I also don't understand the obeisance to Bellow's writing. It seems to be little more than a second-half-of-the-20th-century period style to me. Fragments. Stream of consciousness kind of. Unwillingness to either embrace or shun free indirect, but why?

So, I am defeated. Prove to me that I should try Herzog for the third time, or that I should bother to try Augie March. I don't want to give in, but I'm on the edge. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Wonderful story-telling.
  ivanfranko | Oct 21, 2019 |
Wonderful Saul Bellow
  JoshSapan | May 29, 2019 |
Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
It's impossible, too, not to recognize how alone Sammler is, and how his aloneness is something we all have in common. A book like this—and it's a narrow shelf indeed that can hold it and its small company—may be the only way we can share that deep solitude.
 
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Shortly after dawn, or what would have been dawn in a normal sky, Mr. Artur Sammler with his bushy eye took in the books and papers of his West Side bedroom and suspected strongly that they were the wrong books, the wrong papers.
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Roman fra New York i 60'erne.

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