"Read it! He took a perfect sentence, the bastard, and he made it even better."
I've just finished reading Saul Bellow's Mr. Sammler's Planet. The quote above comes from an article by Elisabeth Sifton Editing Saul Bellow. After reading that astonishing voice, I'm in no mood to read anything else. So much else is so wooden, so lifeless. But Bellow is never "perfect"; indeed, it is his viscous, crowded, Yiddish-inspired, slang-rhythmed, rolling, greedy sentences, his imperfect sentences, that make him such a great writer. Perfection is for second-raters.