Fish out of waterBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39265.489606.59 (Published 05 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:49
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
Saul Bellow's last novel, Ravelstein, is a roman à clef, Ravelstein being Allan Bloom, the literary academic and Bellow's close friend, who made a fortune towards the end of his life with his book The Closing of the American Mind and then died shortly afterwards from AIDS. Another of the characters, Radu Grielescu, is the egregious historian of religions, Mircea Eliade, who taught for many years at Chicago University and who covered up his deep support in the 1930s for—and involvement in—the genocidal Iron Guard in Romania, by means of a pipe smoking persona that implied that the religious wisdom of ages had somehow rubbed off on him. (It is astonishing how deeply postwar intellectual life in Europe and America …
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