ML reference

EDWARD LUKANUSKI ed_lukanuski at
Mon Mar 13 17:24:14 EST 2006

I was doing the book discard thing and made the mistake of reading one of the novels in "the I'll read someday pile."

The novel is "Humboldt's Gift" by Saul Bellow in the Avon 1976 edition. In the past I've found Bellow a tough read. Perhaps I've reached the right age, but I found "Humboldt's Gift" an enjoyable novel about an intellectual trying to make a go of it in Chicago . 

In "Humboldt's Gift," I found two references to ML:

1. Thinking of his first girl friend, Naomi Lutz, our narrator Charlie Citrine remembers:

    "I had my own little Lake Country, the park where I wondered with my Modern Library Plato, Wordsworth, Swinburne and Un Coeur Simple."

    " . . . the mental burdens and responsibilities of an intellectual's wife had frightened her (Naomi) besides. I talked all the time about my Modern Library books of poetry and history, and she was afraid that she would disappoint me."

Is this the first instance of ML's turning off a girl friend?

2. The 2nd reference is made in a conversation with Citrine's bother Ulick. Ulick says to Charlie:

    "You were always spouting some theory to us at the table - Marx, or Darwin, or Schopenhauer, or Oscar Wilde. If it wasn't one damn thing it was another. You had the biggest collection of Modern Library books on the block."
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