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Fantasies of the New ClassIdeologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II American Fiction$
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Stephen Schryer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157575

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157575.001.0001

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Saul Bellow’s Class of Explaining Creatures

Saul Bellow’s Class of Explaining Creatures

Mr. Sammler’s Planet and the Rise of Neoconservatism

(p.111) 4 Saul Bellow’s Class of Explaining Creatures
Fantasies of the New Class

Stephen Schryer

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews Saul Bellow's novel, Mr. Sammler's Planet, examining particularly the protagonist's sociological perspective: social reality is determined by ideas and values disseminated by intellectuals within the rapidly expanding new class. Through the life of the main character, the novel adumbrates the neoconservative cultural politics by exploring many of the contradictions implicit in the neoconservatives' emerging cultural vision. It examines the inherent conflict between their thoroughgoing cultural determinism and their efforts to imagine a political coalition between conservative intellectuals and business leaders. In addition, the novel is committed to a social vision: the displacement of the old bourgeoisie by the new class as America's dominant elite.

Keywords:   Saul Bellow, Mr. Sammler's Planet, social reality, neoconservative cultural politics, cultural vision, cultural determinism

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