Anthony's Reviews > Herzog

Herzog by Saul Bellow
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Aug 11, 07

Read in August, 2007

"Dear Sirs, The size and number of the rats in Panama City, when I passed through, truly astonished me. I saw one of them sunning himself beside a swimming pool. And another was looking at me from the wainscoting of a restaurant as I was eating fruit salad. Also, on an electric wire which slanted upward into a banana tree, I saw a whole rat-troupe go back and forth, harvesting. They ran the wire twenty times or more without a single collision. My suggestion is that you put birth-control chemicals in the baits. Poisons will never work (for Malthusian reasons; reduce the population somewhat and it only increases more vigorously)." (p.318)

"Dear Edvig...Allow me modestly to claim that I am much better now at ambiguities. I think I can say, however, that I have been spared the chief ambiguity that afflicts intellectuals and this is that civilized individuals hae and resent the civilization that makes their lives possible. What they love is an imaginary human situation invented by their own genuis and which they believe is the only true and the only human reality...But the best-treated, most favored and intelligent part of any society is often the most ungrateful. Ingratitude, is its social function." (p.304)
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