By John Bierhorst

ISBN-10: 0804711836

ISBN-13: 9780804711838

Ebook by means of Bierhorst, John

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Additional resources for A Nahuatl-English Dictionary and Concordance to the 'Cantares Mexicanos: With an Analytic Transcription and Grammatical Notes

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The non-hero desires a visceral thrill in a heroic narrative, but ultimately needs secure DEFINING THE HERO 17 boundaries at its conclusion. Bellow’s first novel and most of the novels following upon it confront the seeming incompatibility of the non-hero and the hero’s wants and needs. Bellow’s heroes desire to just “be,” but they are not non-heroes. Although they wish to have the security and boundaries of a life of simple “being,” they are too aware of the lack of boundaries, too aware of their own limitations, and the vastness and arbitrary chosen-ness of the world.

Mark Osteen writes that “[t]he ‘new tragic narrative’ of bombs and hostages has briefly been ousted by comedy” (213), but perhaps ousted is not what DeLillo means to suggest. In Beirut the gun is a weapon, a camera, a wedding firecracker all at once. The tragedy is the comedy, the comedy the tragedy. It all waits for signification and if Bill or Brita refuses the task, there are other ways of finding relief from endless possibilities. Bill Gray advocates a “democratic shout” (159), but he has long since abandoned his own ideas to the point that he was afraid of how he would sound if he moved from behind his mute image.

In an interview with David Boroff, Bellow says of Herzog (1964): “I consider Herzog a break from victim literature. As one of the chieftains of that school, I have the right to say this. Victim literature purports to show the impotence of the ordinary man. In writing Herzog I felt that I was completing a certain development, coming to an end of a literary sensibility” (qtd. in Kim 38). Although Bellow states it is not until Herzog that he breaks with victim literature, I would suggest that it is Bellow’s anti-victim sensibility that established him as an author of note in the early years of his career.

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A Nahuatl-English Dictionary and Concordance to the 'Cantares Mexicanos: With an Analytic Transcription and Grammatical Notes by John Bierhorst

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