Finished Ravelstein. Bellow's character certainly not "effete", edit that out. Maybe occasionally peevish. & Ravelstein, the stand-in for Allan Bloom, not an "intellectual snob". He has the attitude of a big academic, screening out the students who don't make his grade, sometimes in an unkind way. Not the same as snobbery.
Started reading Closing of the American Mind. Wish I'd read it 10 yrs ago when it came out, & followed the controversy more closely. But then I just wasn't interested. It's a polemic. Am just getting into it. He sharply contrasts the older notion of equality based on natural rights, the basis of the Constitution & Declaration of Independence, with the newer ideology he calls "openness", which promotes the dignity & autonomy of diverse cultures over the universality of human nature. Very controversial at the height of the culture wars.