Reno Jewish Story Club Meeting
7:00 – 9:00 pm Monday, June 24

Story Title: “The Old System” by Saul Bellow

Some stories are action tales and others track thoughts in characters’ heads. In this month’s reading, we get both. An action tale going through a storyteller’s head. Of course the storyteller in the author’s head so we’re doubly removed from the action. Not unusual for author Bellow, who celebrated language as much as plot.

Inside the storyteller’s head is a dispute that lasted decades. Isaac said Tina withdrew from a snarky business deal that made him rich. Tina said Isaac cut her and others out of the deal. He acts in “the old system”, mindful of his parent’s moral precepts even as he violates them. She has little use for the religion and customs of their parents.. forgiveness is fungible, a commodity to Tina. They are brother and sister.

One literary analyst claims 20th-century fiction was defined by William Faulkner and Saul Bellow. Bellow is best known for his novels [Henderson the Rain King; Herzog etc] but his short stories capture his style and themes as well. Bellow, who died in 2005 at age 89, was one of the most honored modern authors… he is the only recipient of three National Book Awards; plus a National Medal of Arts, a Pulitzer Prize, and the 1976 Nobel Prize in Literature. Bellow should have gotten the Nobel Prize in Medicine too: he married five times and fathered his fourth and final child at the age of 84. As Paul Simon put it: Still crazy after all these years.

Discussion Leader: Alan Liebman

Hosts: This month’s meeting will be at the gracious home of Emma Auriemma and Jim McKay in ArrowCreek [southwest suburban Reno].

RSVP Required: To reserve your seat(s), receive a PDF copy of this month’s stories and travel directions, please e-mail your name(s) to before sundown, THIS Friday, June 21. For this meeting the Club can accommodate 17 attendees, please remember your reservation is part of an old system that expects you’ll show up!

Social time and refreshments after the discussion.

NEXT Club Meeting [mark your calendar!]: Monday, July 22 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm