Saul Bellow Writing Styles in Humboldt's Gift

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Saul Bellow wrote Humboldt's Gift in the first person narrative voice of Charlie Citrine, who alternately assumes the perspective of participant and naive observer. Much of the content of the novel occurs inside Charlie's memory and intellect in the form of detailed recollections, flashbacks and lofty speculation about esoteric and metaphysical concepts. This approach creates a highly flexible framework within which the author may easily traverse time, viewing events from whatever perspective he chooses. The effect on the reader is to loose track of time, which is part of the magic the author weaves in his tale. It is also a difficult challenge for the author, because he must remain ever vigilant not to fall into the web he is spinning for his reader.

One needs only look at the structure of the narrative to clearly see the effects of this technique. Humboldt's Gift is 487 pages...

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This section contains 853 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Humboldt's Gift Study Guide
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