With a novelist, like a surgeon, you have to get a feeling that you’ve fallen into good hands – someone from whom you can accept the anesthetic with confidence.

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More from Saul Bellow

Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love.

Dangling Man (1944)

Conquered people tend to be witty.

Mr. Sammler's planet, (1976)

There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book.

Quoted by Granville Hicks in The Living Novel: A Symposium (1957)