"Unexpected Intrusions Of Beauty. This Is What Life Is": First Edition Of The Author’s Masterpiece; Inscribed To Fellow Professor And Founder Of The University Of Chicago’s Committee On Social Thought

  • Herzog.
  • Herzog.



Item Number: 3538

New York: The Viking Press, 1964.

First edition of the author’s second of three National Book Award winning novels, which was and remains an unprecedented literary accomplishment. Octavo, original blue cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to John Nef and his wife, “To John Nef and Mrs. Nef with very good wishes Saul Bellow.” The recipient, John Nef was a economic historian and founder of The University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, where Bellow was a faculty member for over 30 years. Fine in a bright fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Mel Williamson. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An outstanding association.

A novel complex, compelling, absurd and realistic, Herzog became a classic almost as soon as it was published in 1964. In it Saul Bellow tells the tale of Moses E. Herzog, a tragically confused intellectual who suffers from the breakup of his second marriage, the general failure of his life and the specter of growing up Jewish in the middle part of the 20th century. He responds to his personal crisis by sending out a series of letters to all kinds of people. The letters in total constitute a thoughtful examination of his own life and that which has occurred around him. What emerges is not always pretty, but serves as gritty foundation for this absorbing novel. "A masterpiece" (The New York Times).

Ask a Question