Saul Bellow, on what a novel is

Friday, April 23, 2010

"A novel, like a letter, should be loose, cover much ground, run swiftly, take risk of mortality and decay."

—Saul Bellow, from a 1953 letter to Bernard Malamud, quoted in The New Yorker, April 26, 2010

(found today, one day after I sat with my novel for adults and read it through one more time after many more times, questioning this very idea of looseness and playing it against the seeming demands of graspable structure) 


Lilian Nattel said...

It's an interesting quote, though there lots of other ways to regard and define a novel, too.

Priya said...

I like that quote. :)

Connie said...

This reminds me of why I like Bellow so much: he believes in the larger picture and has a sweeping sense of time and place. Love the quote!

Emily said...

I got part of this quote tattooed on my chest about a year ago, view here:


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