Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saul Bellow on character

Saul Bellow writes (of Mr Sammler):

A "character" has his own logic. He goes his way, one goes with him; he has some perceptions, one perceives them with him. You do him justice, you don't grind your axe. I have no axe to grind, one way or the other. This man seemed to me to be the sort of man to whom this would be happening: he happens to have religious feelings. I did not choose such a person for the purpose of expressing my own religious convictions. I was simply following the thread of his being. I found a clue and I was winding it up, going inwards. It brought me to religion. If it had brought me elsewhere, I’d have written something else. One doesn't arbitrarily invent these things in order to put anything across. That what I am trying to say to you.

That's what I AIM to do. It's not what I do, I know. I still have this urge to SAY something and it gets in the way of the story saying it for me. I push it instead of letting it pull me.

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