In spite of all the accolades Bellow received during his lifetime (and after) Bellow thought of himself as a "working stiff."
"Celebrity interferes with the business of writing," he said. "But it gives you a certain amount of confidence. Before, I said anything I damn pleased, and I did it defiantly. Now, I say anything I damn please, but I do it with confidence."
Bellow was not afraid to say what he pleased, at any time. Like Churchill, he stated at a PEN conference that ours was the worst form of government, except for all the others. And, he "had a fight on his hands." But Bellow was not one to back down, nor was he one to remain neutral about what he created.
"You must either like what you are doing very much, either like your characters or hate them, you can't be indifferent."
And on having his book, Seize the Day, made into a movie, he said. "I haven't seen the film so I can't recommend it. But, I've read the book, and it's very good."