You're accessing this slice of literary goodness for free because we believe anyone and everyone should be able to access the best in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art. And because we don't ask our readers to pay for Guernica, we do—for web hosting, server costs, and the other incidentals necessary to keep Guernica up and running, and, most importantly, open and available to as many people as possible, around the world.
If like us you believe in a widely accessible Guernica, consider supporting the magazine with a tax deductible donation or by subscribing. We'll only be asking for two weeks, three times a year—asking for support from readers like you on your own terms: our all-volunteer staff gives to Guernica out of love, and we extend that friendship to you. If you love Guernica, click to help make sure an ever-growing community can continue to read, react, and participate. Each month, more than 100,000 unique readers visit guernicamag.com—even a small amount, a couple of dollars, from just half of those visitors would sustain us for many, many moons.
Our infinite thanks,
The Guernica Team
Meakin Armstrong: On The Adventures of Augie March
November 30, 2009
I usually carry a book with me everywhere, allowing me to catch up on my reading if the subway is running slowly (and the subway is always running slowly) or if the laundry is taking longer than it should (because the towels never dry).
Most of the time, no one comments on what I’m reading—no one cares, unless it’s Saul Bellow. More times than I could count, some old man has sat down next to me while I was reading Bellow and told me I should also read Herzog or Humboldt’s Gift. I’ve had long conversations with these passionate old men and intend to eventually become one of them myself.
Which Bellow will I lecture strangers about? The Adventures of Augie March. Since I received my MFA, no book has impressed me as much as Augie March. It captures the energy of this country in the early part of the last century and it does it in a style that’s tightly wound, exacting, and idiosyncratic.
In later years, Bellows became a nasty old man, full of conservatism and bile, but in his youth he was up there with the greatest novelists America has ever produced.
Read Augie March.
Bio: Meakin Armstrong is Guernica’s fiction editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @meakinarmstrong.
Readers like you make Guernica possible. Please show your support.
Tagged with: Augie March books Meakin Armstrong Saul Bellow