Herzog Essay

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These remainders strike Herzog as surds, as unaccommodatable particulars, evoking attention and troubling his attempt to shape a world continuous with himself. But his project of understanding is not defeated. If the escape through attention from the pathology of discursive consciousness is the condition of moral awareness (something that will emerge more fully in Mr Sammler's Planet), it is also for Bellow the condition of true comprehension. The resistant otherness of people changes Herzog's understanding and brings him closer to a true statement about the world.

Again, the most telling examples occur in Herzog's memories of childhood. He recalls his mother just before her death, when he was sixteen years old. His first memory is once again an act of intellectual assimilation; he thinks of her as a type of Jewishness, as an instance (like Gersbach) in the history of consciousness:

Though he recalled his mother's sad face...

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This section contains 1,489 words
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Buy the Herzog Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Herzog from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.