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:: By Lydialyle Gibson

:: Photo courtesy Special Collections Research Center

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Investigations ::

Original Source

Something to remember him by

photo:  original sourceNearly a year and a half after celebrated novelist, professor, and Nobel laureate Saul Bellow, X’39, died at age 89, the last of his professional papers came to rest at Regenstein Library: letters, notes, galley proofs, unpublished speeches and essays, hand-corrected manuscripts, and type-written drafts totaling roughly 150 boxes. The documents chronicle the correspondence Bellow, who died April 5, 2005, maintained with luminaries like John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, AM’55, social-thought professor Allan Bloom, PhB’49, AM’53, PhD’55, and English professor emeritus Richard Stern. The papers also contain revisions to five works: Humboldt’s Gift, The Dean’s December, More Die of Heartbreak, Something to Remember Me By, and Ravelstein.

Bellow’s estate closed the sale with University officials in early June, and the boxes arrived on campus in early August. They complete the University’s Bellow archive, joining—as the author wished—a vast collection of previously donated materials. “Preserving Saul Bellow’s papers in one location is a tremendous gain for scholarship,” says Alice Schreyer, director of the University’s Special Collections Research Center. “Researchers will be able to study Bellow’s development over the entire course of his literary career. Especially because he recorded early ideas and drafts in spiral-bound notebooks, the archive affords an extraordinary window into Bellow’s genius for language, storytelling, and insight into human nature.”

The former Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner distinguished service professor in social thought and English language & literature, Bellow taught at Chicago from 1962 to 1993. “There’s a wonderful symmetry to having all the Bellow papers housed at the University of Chicago,” says Walter Pozen, AB’53, JD’56, executor of the Bellow estate, calling the archive’s completion “an idea which I am sure would give Saul great pleasure.”