AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number4. October 2021                        Pp.80-91

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From other Exiles: Alienation or the Madness of Herzog? 

Ramzi Marrouchi
Department of English, Faculty of Letters
Arts and Humanities,  University of Manouba, Tunisia


Received: 9/1/2021                 Accepted: 10/21/2021                         Published: 10/24/2021


This paper analyses how alienation in Saul Bellow’s Herzog (1964) results in madness and wisdom at the same time. Following this, the researcher will firstly examine the background of alienation and its silent assumptions by highlighting the following features: the search for truth, the marginalization, and the mental paralysis of the hero, Herzog. In line with the findings achieved at this stage, the researcher will secondly study how alienation scrupulously traces Herzog’s madness and wisdom, considering the relationships between alienation, on the one hand, and melancholy, oblivion and escapism, on the other hand. In the second part of this essay, the researcher will argue how madness is reflected in terms of wisdom and sanity. It is the wisdom of the marginalized intellectual in modern American society. Seen from this perspective, alienation and madness are argued to have satirical and allegorical dimensions as they entail reciprocal relationships with wisdom and sanity. The conclusion the researcher seeks to achieve is that when Herzog attempts to bypass and deconstruct the amoral ethics of modern American culture, he unexpectedly goes through various shifts from his being alienated, disregarded, rejected, mad and ultimately wise. Foucault’s (1967) and Deleuze’s (1968) concerns over the issues of madness and alienation prove to be an insightful theoretical platform in this paper.
Keywords: alienation, madness, exile, wisdom, modern American culture, Saul Bellow’s Herzog
Cite as:  Marrouchi, R. (2021). From other Exiles: Alienation or the Madness of Herzog? Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (4) 80-91.


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