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Sunday, October 10, 2010

.. يا سلام

But, no. Unlike many writers, his dear friend John Cheever among them, Bellow was not one for self-doubt. He believed in his talent. In a pair of extraordinary letters to John Lehman in 1951, Bellow rails against the British publisher for not praising him enough. "If you can find nothing better to say upon reading Augie March than that you all 'think very highly' of me, I don't think I want you to publish it all," he writes. Later he adds: "Now, I know you haven't seen anything like my book among recent novels. I've been reviewing them; I know what they are. They're for the most part phony, or empty-headed, banal and bungling. I should have thought it would do something to you to see Augie." To adapt the song: I may be wrong, but I think I'm wonderful.

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