June 23, 2021
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The Dean’s December

by Saul Bellow

I mentioned on a family Zoom call that I was reading Saul Bellow. One cousin was impressed. Another said, “I took a class with him. What an ass.”

This is a novel by a great writer, but it’s not really a novel. It’s a series of essays and studies, some of them interesting, on subjects ranging from Old Chicago (which, Chicago being what it is, is not as old as one might think) to life with authoritarians. (The Dean’s December was published in 1982, and everything in Romania would change a few years later, but of course that change wasn't everything it seemed, either.)