Monday, November 16, 2009

The Actual

...was actually quite boring in my opinion, especially when compared to Bellow's previous works. Unlike his previous works, Bellow does not really speak of the city itself, but instead, focuses on the people living in the city. It is a story of normal people, people like ourselves, and the ordinary lives they live. Perhaps this is the reason why I didn't really enjoy reading this text. The story itself is simple. There is nothing extravagant or grandiose about its presentation. There is no White City, horrendous meatpacking factory, or an exploration of the mysteries occurring on Chicago's south side. The Actual is an accurate portrayal of life. The detailed characters created by Bellow are the highlight of the novel. We are not given just basic characteristics or brief descriptions of their personalities. Rather, Bellow's descriptions allow us to grasp the soul of each character and dive within the human psyche in ways not possible in other writing.

If I learned anything from reading The Actual it is the common iteration of "seize the day". Bellow's character, Harry, frequently focuses upon those moments he let slip away, and it seems as if Bellow wants us to prevent this from happening in our actual lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment