Title

Lighting out for the global territory : postwar revisions of cultural anthropology and Jewish American identity in Bellow’s Henderson the rain king

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

ELH

Publication Date

2013

Volume

80

Issue

1

First Page

287

Last Page

316

Publisher

The Johns Hopkins University Press

Abstract

Saul Bellow enthusiastically explored the creative possibilities of globalization after World War II, imagining a space of creative freedom outside the boundaries of the nation-state. In so doing he helped to transform American Jewishness from a leftist culture rooted in working-class politics and racial alliances into a more syncretic, market-oriented form of identity. His major work of travel fiction, Henderson the Rain King, criticizes European colonial discourse and valorizes the hybrid cosmopolitan Dahfu, psychotherapist and African king, who acts as Henderson’s intellectual mentor. Although antiracist in intent, Bellow’s vision of travel-fueled 3 professional autonomy opposes collective movements for social change and nationalist resistance to imperialism, which helps to explain his neoconservative turn in the 1970s.

DOI

10.1353/elh.2013.0000

Print ISSN

00138304

E-ISSN

10806547

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 The Johns Hopkins University Press. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Strand, E. (2013). Lighting out for the global territory : postwar revisions of cultural anthropology and Jewish American identity in Bellow’s Henderson the rain king. ELH, 80(1), 287-316. doi:10.1353/elh.2013.0000