#READ EPUB ⚼ Herzog ⚦ eBook or E-pub free

To all the people that watched my brave struggle with this book I dedicate this review to you.I have really mixed feelings about this one Was it an absolute struggle to read Did I fall asleep after a page or two many times Was I wishing I was reading something else, something were things actually happened, like, I don t know say The Dark Desires Of the Druids III Desert and Destiny The answer to all these questions is yes.Now, was I reading it with a pencil in my hand underlining sentences so I can put them as facebook updates later on Did I think the opening line If I am out of my mind, it s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog was the best opening line I ve read in a while Did I think it was exceptionally well written Did I admire Bellow for going on for over 300 pages about absolutely nothing and still have people go gaga over it Yes, yes, yesDid I think that Bellow used the book as an excuse to show off his elloquence and eruditism Like some other authors, cough, Cortazar, cough Yes So you see, I am getting schizoprenia.I am glad I have finished reading it I think it s solely responsible for the fact I was sleeping for 10 hours a day for 3 weeks God, I need to read something stupid now. This book has warts oh, does it have warts Like Moses Herzog himself, this book is marred and marked with warts But it is a book of genius nonetheless and not just in parts, but in whole in scope and in depth I rarely write reviews about fiction I m not a literary type One of the very few I ve written worth reading is that of The Sun Also Rises Fiction is not amenable to the type of analysis that comes most naturally to me Besides, I ve only been reading fiction, after a long hiatus, for a year or two so really , what s to say But since most of my GR friends who liked this book have not commented on it while those who have, mostly don t like it I feel I need to say something in defense of poor Herzog.When I started this, I had the sinking feeling I had when I tried to read Henderson, The Rain King many, many years ago Something just didn t click Bellow s names sound indeed, they are artificial something that bugs me no end in a book and it s hard to construct a universe in the opening pages, in any event so that one has doubts early on And so, I almost gave up But that would have been a great mistake For this is a large book, a book written in grandi dimensioni.Andre Gide I think it was commented about Dostoevsky that, in his novels, ideas became flesh He was thinking of The Brothers Karamazov, as I recall And indeed, of the postwar American novelists, Bellow perhaps comes closest to this as his characters not only represent ideas, but utterly live them, engage them, struggle with them, breath them, exude them not only intellectually though that, of course , but also as LIVED maxims, as lived DILEMMAS It is a philosophy of life, he wants a philosophy FOR life that he seeks one steeped in our historical moment, of course, because the hallmark of modernity is, after all, its historicity And by this enormously ambitious standard, Bellow and already the Bellow of Herzog succeeds admirably, brilliantly, convincingly in bringing modern, urban, cosmopolitan that is, Jewish intellectuals onto the tragicomic stage that was, perhaps, in one sense that of the hyper learned, sensate, quivering, irreverent, sexualized, incandescent, doubting, longing intellectual of late modernity that of Freud made flesh in the bookstalls of the Upper West Side the peak and apex of Western modernity a modernity, indeed, a West, now in terminal decline.Well what can I say I wax nostalgic.But a rich and wonderful book warts and all. #READ EPUB ⚤ Herzog ⚡ This Is The Story Of Moses Herzog, A Great Sufferer, Joker, Mourner, And Charmer Although His Life Steadily Disintegrates Around Him He Has Failed As A Writer And Teacher, As A Father, And Has Lost The Affection Of His Wife To His Best Friend Herzog Sees Himself As A Survivor, Both Of His Private Disasters And Those Of The Age He Writes Unsent Letters To Friends And Enemies, Colleagues And Famous People, Revealing His Wry Perception Of The World Around Him, And The Innermost Secrets Of His Heart Herzog, Saul BellowHerzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow, composed in large part of letters from the protagonist Moses E Herzog It won the U.S National Book Award for Fiction and the Prix International In 2005, Time magazine named it one of the 100 best novels in the English language since Time s founding in 1923 2001 1379 520 9643281019 1395 408 9786009538423 1379 559 9646915086 . This is without a doubt my favorite book by Saul Bellow I am not sure it will speak to everybody, but it certainly spoke to ne It captures the world of an educated, liberal, East Coast professor He goes by the name of Moses E Herzog, and yes, he is from a Jewish family He is having a midlife crisis, has just gone through a second divorce and is looking back on his life He is writing letters to friends, relatives and public figures, some dead and some alive But these letters are NOT sent and the further one goes the less do they even resemble letters What he is doing is reminiscing, sizing up his life, determining in what direction he will go next The year is 1964.I liked this book as much as I did because the East Coast of the 1950s and 1960s is familiar to me Psychiatry, Martin Buber, and talk and opinions and talk and opinions about all that is happening around one feels natural to me Everyone has a view on everything and one s views must be expressed What is described is the world of my parents and my own youth Herzog spends time in New York City, Massachusetts, Montreal, Martha s Vineyard and Chicago too What was in the news, what people were talking about, how people dealt with life then is all here I liked the progression of the novel where it starts and where it ends Herzog s next step is not spelled out clearly, but in my view, this is clear As Herzog looks back we share with him his disappointments and misgivings He sees failures both in himself and in others, but who doesn t What we are seeing is life as it really is At the end, I see view spoiler hope, at least a willingness to try anew hide spoiler The Noble LionMoses Herzog is an academic, an individual who is used to seeing himself as a prince, a noble, a patrician, a patriarch He s not a plebeian He s not upwardly mobile He believes he s already at the peak He s somebody who stands out from the crowd He has dignity.He displaysthe pride of the peacock, the lust of the goat, and the wrath of the lionOf these three characteristics, the most significant is that he is leonine the ultimate compliment Saul Bellow would ever pay anyone, as he did William Gaddis , a king of the jungle.Herzog is ensconced in the world of culture, ideas, ideologies, philosophy and metaphysics He has published a well received monograph entitledRomanticism and Christianity. However, his career seems to have stalled, at least partly as a result of tensions in his personal relationshipsI am a specialist in spiritual self awareness or emotionalism or ideas or nonsenseThe Broken Down MonarchBy the time we meet Herzog, he has been married twice Daisy and Madeleine , divorced once and now separated a second time, as the result of his cuckolding by a former close friend, the poet and broadcaster, Valentine Gersbach He has become abroken down monarch. There s no reason to suspect that Herzog has been faithful during either marriage It s unlikely that this lion would have been content with just one lioness However, Herzog totally freaks out when he learns of Madeleine s infidelity.Apparently, the affair had been going on for some time previously What is most hurtful is that it seems that everybody knew about it but Herzog.Herzog paints a flattering portrait of MadeleineShe is a beauty, and a very rare type, too, because she is so brilliant She has a Ph.D in Russian religious history and has mothered Herzog s daughter He really did love her passionately, at least in the beginning.Listen to the LionessOver the course of the novel, we learn the very simple nature of Madeleine s dissatisfaction Herzog just didn t listen to her enough He wanted to be the star who shone brightest in every sky above their heads She, understandably, wanted to shine as well.Ultimately, for all the intellectualism and sexuality that they shared, their relationship was just too internally competitive to survive, at least on the rules that they set collectively or individually.Madeleine ejects Herzog from the family home in Chicago, some time around October Most of the action takes place the following May and June, around the time that the academic year has finished and Herzog is trying to deal with his estrangement, both emotionally and intellectually.There is no prospect of Herzog returning to Madeleine, as there was that Odysseus would return to Helen or Leopold Bloom would return to Molly.Herzog has been rejected, but at the same time set free.Blows against the EmpireThis is an enormous blow to Herzog s vanity It unhinges him so much that Madeleine and Valentine spread rumours that he is insane or has at the very least had a nervous breakdown.Herzog even entertains the thought himself In one of the most famous first sentences, he saysIf I am out of my mind, it s all right with me Thus, Bellow immediately puts us on notice that the sanity of his protagonist is an issue It s interesting that, at this point, the impact of his insanity on family and friends is of no apparent concern to him Herzog visits the doctor who can find nothing wrong with him physicallyThe strength of Herzog s constitution worked obstinately against his hypochondriaHe had been hoping for some definite sickness which would send him to a hospital for a while He would not have to look after himself Herzog is just over excited He has disintegrated metaphysically He needs a rest A stay in hospital would mean that he could cease being responsible for himselfHis egotism is in abeyance, all converted into passivity Ridiculous ScribblingHerzog spends much of the novel venting his spleen in the form of letters to all and sundry He could almost have been the first blogger or troll.Initially, these letters and the need to write them reflect the work of a madman In retrospect, they are attempts to reconstruct his life and worldview He has experienced a meltdown Now he needs to reboot and reconfigure He isn t mad, just egotistical and eccentricHe knew his scribbling, his letter writing, was ridiculous It was involuntary His eccentricities had him in their power The novel is written primarily in the third person This gives the reader the opportunity to see a perspective beyond that of Herzog However, often the narrative dealing with Herzog s perspective slips into the first person Bellow is always in control However, he subsequently revealed that he wrote the novel in a white hot rage, after he experienced similar events in his own life Herzog is not necessarily Bellow, but there is a lot of Bellow in him For what little it s worth, even the vowels in their surnames are the same.A Natural MasterpieceWhat saves the novel from being a pure rant, is the introduction of Ramona She is a business woman, as well as a mature aged student who has a degree in Art History from Columbia She has also been a student in some of Herzog s classes.It s inevitable that a relationship between the two will develop during the course of the novel They seem to be made for each other There s a sense in which Ramona is an intellectual equal However, she is also portrayed, like Madeleine, as extremely sexually attractive Sometimes you can be bothRamona truly was a desirable wife She was understanding Educated Well situated in New York Money And sexually, a natural masterpiece What breasts The interposition of this relationship into the narrative prevents it being too maudlin However, to the extent that it reflects an actual relationship with a person who would become Bellow s third wife even if the model is someone quite different altogether , it gives effect to an authorial desire for revenge on his second wife.As attractively as he portrays Madeleine in many parts, Bellow uses the fictional romance with Ramona to get over her and start a new life of even greater personal compatibility and sexual pleasure.There s an element of authorial immaturity in this entire construct Any acquaintances of the Bellow family or circle of friends would have had no doubts about who and what was being portrayed in the novel.Yet, despite this apparent desire for revenge, the novel is one of the great literary works of the twentieth century It s definitely one of my top ten, if not top five.Herzog Comes to Bury CaesarWhile the breakdown of the relationship with Madeleine triggers the narrative, it isinflamed by the dynamic of the relationship between Herzog and Ramona.Of course, in the manner of two highly flirtatious people who know what they want, the relationship is consummated quite early in the peace However, Herzog is not sure he is ready for Ramona yet He has too much on his mind First, it seems, he has to get these things off his mind, hence the letters.Next, Herzog has to decide that this new relationship is what he really wants Equally importantly, though, if the answer is yes, then, in the game of love, he has to play hard to get For a little while, at least.Herzog is used to strong, if not dominant, women Before starting another relationship, he has to ready himself for the challenge He needs some grooming before he is ready to become Ramona s groom.As much as we know that Herzog could not possibly resist Ramona s sexual attraction, the process by which he gets to the liaison that will occur at the end of the novel is quite circuitous Not to mention metaphysical.Herzog s initial instinct is to retreat into himself after the separation from Madeleine In the same manner, he feels the temptation to escape Ramona s lure by running away to the relative isolation of his rural home in Massachusetts, from where he writes most of his letters.Of course, Herzog knows that he will eventually return to Ramona, as does she The attraction is too great to turn his back on her permanently He describes his temporary flight as like that of a runaway slave He is still enslaved to the prospect of their love.Turbulence of SpiritThe narrative is fragmented and non chronological, so we know about Ramona from early on.However, the structure of the narrative reflects the manner in which Herzog has been let loose on the world following his separation If nothing else, he is suffering fromirregularity and turbulence of spirit.The role of Herzog s letters is to come to grips with this turbulence Ironically, for all the turmoil he finds himself in,though he still behaved oddly, he felt confident, cheerful, clairvoyant, and strong He had fallen under a spellDespite his excess of nervous energy,he looked weirdly tranquil Even though his letters focus on the past and his interior world, his attention has already moved to the future and his relationship with the external world.My Story is HistoryIt s this change of focus that constitutes what is truly great and transcendent about the novel.Until now, the leonine version of Herzog has seen himself as part of the progress of History He personalises all of the philosophy he has consumed and written aboutOne way or another the no doubt mad idea entered my mind that my own actions had historic importance, and this fantasy made it appear that people who harmed me were interfering with an important experiment The Metaphysical SelfHerzog s marriage breakdown represents a crisis in the progress of not just Herzog himself, but History as well He endeavours to address it with the only tools known to him, his metaphysics.However, since the 18th century, metaphysics has become increasingly self oriented, almost by definition.Littered throughout the novel are words deriving from the rootsselfandegoself consciousness, self awareness, self hatred, self development, self realisation, self sufficiency, self correction, self obsession, egotism, ego reinforcement.Herzog s plight is symbolic of what has happened to humanity in the last two centuries.He isaging, vain, terribly narcissistic, suffering without proper dignityHe has lost his nobility He has re joined the plebeian To use Heidegger s term, he has fallen into the Quotidian.Let Me Look at YouBellow is keenly observant in respect of the world around his protagonist We know what the environment and people look like Herzog is a keen gardener Trees and birds are often described with pastoral delightAll the while, one corner of his mind remained open to the external worldHowever, ultimately, Herzog realises that he has grown too far away from the external world.It takes family and friends to tell himDon t get highfalutin I m talking facts, not shitWho told you you were such a prince Dreamy boyYou re a highbrow and you married a highbrow broad Somewhere in every intellectual is a dumb prick You guys can t answer your own questions Herzog recalls his own father s attitude towards his arrogance and pretensionHe could no longer bear the sight of me, that look of mine, the look of conceit or proud trouble The elite look Not by Self AloneOf course, the impetus for Herzog to sort himself out derives from his sexual appetite for Ramona How can a man in his state be fit for amature, successful, laughing, sexual woman For all his intellectual and academic seriousness, he is still at heart a human being with human needsHerzog had committed a sin of some kind against his own heart, while in pursuit of a grand synthesisI wasted myself in stupid schemes, liberating my spirit He realises that he could have become conscious of this truth a lot earlier, if he had just paidattention to those around him If we could only bother to look into the eyes of others, we would see how we look to themMan liveth not by Self alone, but in his brother s face Herzog realises for the first time that life is not just about the individual, the self, in isolation from others and the external worldI really believe that brotherhood is what makes a man human His new version of humanism is founded on some kind of fraternity A relationship with the other A relationship with others.Combatting the VoidCharacteristically, it s not enough that this analysis be restricted to Herzog alone Herzog, if not Bellow as well, diagnoses the problem as one shared by the whole of Western Civilisation Thus, Herzog s solution to his metaphysical problem ends up being equally metaphysical and equally applicable to others.Herzog rails against various nihilist philosophies of disintegration and annihilation that he describes asthe mire of post Renaissance, post humanistic, post Cartesian dissolution, next door to the Voidwe might recognise the cultural manifestation as Post ModernismWhat is the philosophy of this generation Not God is dead, that point was passed long ago Perhaps it should be stated Death is God This generation thinks and this is its thought of thoughts that nothing faithful, vulnerable, fragile can be durable or have any true power Death waits for these things as a cement floor waits for a dropping light bulbHistory is the history of cruelty, not love, as soft men think We have experimented with every human capacity to see which is strong and admirable and have shown that none is There is only impracticality This is the victory of death, not of rationality, not of rational faith The question of death offers us the interesting alternatives of disintegrating ourselves by our own wills in proof of our freedom , or the acknowledging that we owe a human life to this waking spell of existence, regardless of the void After all, we have no positive knowledge of that void Herzog believes that life is too important to be abandoned to nihilismWe mustn t forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of the intellectual The canned sauerkraut of Spengler s Prussian Socialism , the commonplace of the Wasteland outlook, the cheap mental stimulants of Alienation, the cant and rant of pipsqueaks about Inauthenticity and Forlornness I can t accept this foolish dreariness We are talking about the whole life of mankind The subject is too great, too deep for such weakness, cowardicea merely aesthetic critique of modern history After the wars and mass killings Nietzsche you speak of the power of the Dionysian spirit to endure the sight of the Terrible, the Questionable, to allow itself the luxury of Destruction, to witness Decomposition, Hideousness, EvilYou want to make us able to live with the void Ultimately, Herzog argues that only humanism can combat the void, if there is such a thing Man s backbone must hold us above and beyond entropy, at least temporarily Whatever the concerns about rationality, technology, evil, abuse of power, they can only be addressed at an individual or collective level There is no point in surrendering to the void.Metaphysical PleasureThese metaphysical conclusions have cleaned Herzog s slate, and left him ready for Ramona What awaits him isnot simple pleasure but metaphysical, transcendent pleasure pleasure which answered the riddle of human existence That was Ramona no mere sensualist, but a theoretician, almost a priestess Ramona had passed through the hell of profligacy and attained the seriousness of pleasure For when will we civilised beings become really serious Said Kierkegaard Only when we have known hell through and through Without this, hedonism and frivolity will diffuse hell through all our days Ramona, however, does not believe in any sin but the sin against the body, for her the true and only temple of the spirit Now that Herzog, too, has been to hell and back, it s time that the two Orphic travellers met up again.Kiss Me AgainAll his life, Herzog has been dogged by wordsWhat can thoughtful people and humanists do but struggle towards suitable words I ve been writing letters helter skelter in all directions More words I go after reality with language Perhaps I d like to change it all into language By the end of the novel, Herzog has run out of wordsAt this time he had no messages for anyone Nothing Not a single word No words are necessary, because he has discovered reality, and reality is enough He is about to reunite with Ramona in his home in the Berkshires A nice meal is in the oven He has chilled a few bottles of white wine in the mountain spring He looks at his watch She will be coming soon So, too, will he.SOUNDTRACK Bettie Serveert Roadmovies Serveert Certainlie Serveert I ll Keep It With Mine Her Brother s Face A Bright New Star Called Emmanuelle For Rupert s Little Sister After a Story by Saul Bellow Moses Herzog All over Rupert s freckled face,Nature traced out constellations,With every star in its place,Except for one that occupied What was, til now, an empty space.Nobody knew what it was called,Not even the astronomers.The man they asked was very bald.His name was Hiram ShpitalnikAnd by this star he was enthralled.Though his beard reached to his feetAnd he lived inside a hat box,Hiram had to accept defeat.Only his grandfather would know.His wisdom was muchcomplete.He lived inside a walnut shellAnd all his friends were bumble bees,But just by looking, he could tell.It was a new discoveryThat Rupert named Emmanuelle. Most of us have one big advantage over rich people and fictional characters when it comes to dealing with our personal issues For example, look at Moses Herzog in this book Herzog goes through an ugly divorce, and his circumstances allow him to wallow in his misery and behave erratically for months I m sure any of us in similar circumstances would like to put our lives on hold as we picked at our emotional scabs while ignoring our jobs and taking trips across Europe However, most of us don t get that luxury Those are usually the times when we can least afford to screw up so even though all you really want to do is hide under the covers or drink heavily or eat ice cream or drink heavily while eating ice cream under the covers, we gotta get up and go to work And pay the bills And do the laundry And get the oil changed in the car.And that s to our advantage Because getting over something like a divorce means moving on, even if you re faking it half the time Eventually, you re not faking it any, you are actually living your life, and that s how you finally recover Or you just completely lose your shit and end up getting stuck in endless loops inside your own head as you ping pong from one impulsive thought and whim to another until you re completely unable to tell the good ideas from the bad Like Moses Herzog If he would have had to get off his ass and go back to work rather than mooching off his family then he might not have gone cuckoo for Coco Puffs and come unglued while writing a series of bizarre letters to family, friends, celebrities and dead historical figures.Yes, I know that Saul Bellow was using Herzog to make a statement about how a modern man viewed his life and society in the 60s, and the writing is as good as his reputation But I just couldn t get into it, mainly because I wanted someone to give Moses a brisk slap and tell him to grow up and get over himself I didn t dislike the character, I actually felt bad for him That just made me wish eventhat Herzog could start pulling his life back together instead of indulging in his self involved musings. Ma io non ci sono pi Bellow pensa che l anima sia un impedimento se sei felice, nascondilo e se il tuo cuore pieno, chiudi la bocca Il suo protagonista, Moses E Herzog, ama le donne con tutto l essere ne attratto, affascinato, ammaliato La sua brama del corpo femminile tale da ingelosire gli d i Fare sesso un atto da buon cittadino Ma la sua natura gli causa dolore ammette e nega il male nello stesso tempo, riluttante e feroce, vuole avere tutto ma ha compassione del possesso La sofferenza che Moses prova non accresce il suo credito morale, una forma estesa di vita, un antidoto all illusione Herzog in crisi perch Madeleine divorzia nel tradimento e in pi si rivolge al suo stesso psichiatra e al suo stesso avvocato del resto, sempre Moses a causare l unione tra moglie e amante Herzog viaggia tra New York e Chicago, tra Martha s Vineyard e le Berkshires Ha due figli ed malinconicamente disordinato, figlio di un contrabbandiere di liquori La sua carriera di studioso in un vuoto temporale, Herzog si interroga per trovare qualche risposta, un sopravvissuto e commette innumerevoli errori Si perde nell irrazionalit e riscopre il valore di cose rare, dimenticate e rinnegate Segue percorsi metafisici in un isolamento sociale che trascende la natura, insegue demoni e fantasmi in un introspezione vertiginosa che si trasforma in forza e intelligenza Infine le fantasie, le digressioni, i flussi di coscienza e le descrizioni si uniscono nel creare un origine farsesca che al tempo stesso uscita di scena, la rinascita di un identit fallita che continua a cercare nell instabilit una disposizione a sorprendere, una riconciliazione con le ambigue ombre del vivere quotidiano E del nostro silenzio Ma per se stesso l uomo non ha bisogno della felicit No, egli pu sopportare qualsiasi quantit di tormenti coi ricordi, con le proprie familiari malvagit , con la disperazione la storia dell uomo non scritta, la sua vittoria non vista, negativa, la sua capacit di fare a meno d ogni soddisfazione personale purch ci sia qualcosa di grande, qualcosa in cui il suo essere, e tutti gli esseri, possano immergersi Egli non ha bisogno di significato fintanto che tale intensit abbia vastit di raggio Perch allora essa evidente in s essa significato. Herzog is one of Bellow s most enduring characters and this is one of his best books When not screwing up his life, his letters to people real, dead and imaginary kept me laughing the entire time I loved how despite everything, there is a feeling of exuberance about life in this book and it made me want to go back and read it again in a year Highly entertaining, there is never a dull moment and lots and lots of humor I would say for those that have not read Bellow that this is an excellent jumping off point before, say, Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Sammler s Planeta must read Having now read almost all of Bellow s novels, Herzog still stands out as one of my favorites. During the time I was reading Herzog, NPR coincidentally ran one of its You Must Read This pieces, this one by Jeffrey Eugenides and touting Saul Bellow s novel In the piece, Eugenides says There s a little thing I do when I can t write When I m feeling sleepy, when my head is in a fog, I reach across my desk, digging under the piles of unanswered mail, to unearth my copy of Herzog by Saul Bellow And then I open the book anywhere and read a paragraph.It always works Right away I m restored to full alertness and clarity Style, in literature, has gone out of style People think it s just ornament But it s not The work that goes into a writer s style, the choices that are taken, the cliches that are chucked, represent a refining of thought and feeling into their purest, most intelligent, most moral form.The danger with great stylists such as Bellow, Eugenides says, is that the style can overshadow the substance Bellow, he argues, successfully avoids this potential pitfall His sentences pack maximum sensual, emotional and intellectual information into minimum space all the while generating an involving, deeply moving story Eugenides goes on to say The impulse here is to quote Every single page of Herzog teems with jokes, apercus, deep thinker riffs little genius moves every other sentence The impulse is to read the entire book out loud.I quote Eugenides at length here because I think he hits the nail right on the head While Herzog is the only Bellow book I ve read so far Eugenides, in the New York Times, called it the best of Bellow s great novels I feel I can already say that he s one of the great ones one of the great 20th century prose stylists, along with such writers as Nabokov I single out Nabokov mostly because I just read Pnin for the first time a few weeks back, and find him to be another novelist, like Bellow, who truly loves and makes the most of the English language Just as I plan to readNabokov almost solely for his prose style, I ll be readingBellow as well.So why four stars rather than five for Herzog While Bellow s prose style is wonderful, and serves the story well and the character of Moses Herzog perfectly, the story itself felt a bit thin at times That caused the novel, even at just 350 pages, to be a bit of a slog to get through at some points And I say this even though I was reading the almost 1,500 page Count of Monte Cristo at the same time It d be an overstatement to say that book seemed shorter than Herzog, but they perhaps felt close to the same length Herzog is nevertheless worth reading by anyone who enjoys great prose stylists writers who know how to match their style to their story, while avoiding the use of verbal gymnastics simply to show off Such writers are a rare find.