Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike, R. I. P.

John Updike dies, aged 76 - washingtonpost.com: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. author John Updike, a leading writer of his generation who chronicled the emotional drama of American small town life with searing wit, died on Tuesday, his publisher said.

'It is with great sadness that I report that John Updike died this morning at the age of 76, after a battle with lung cancer.' said Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf, a unit of Random House.

'He was one of our greatest writers, and he will be sorely missed.'"

My favorites among his many books would include The Centaur and Rabbit, Run.


Todd Mason said...

Not comparable, but also saddening, today's notice that REALMS OF FANTASY magazine is folding with its April issue.

It's a bad month which is bookended by the deaths of writers as infulential as Westlake and Updike, neither a kid but neither very old by today's standards, either.

Anonymous said...

There's something going on in the cosmos, and I'm not sure whether it's good or bad. I've been saddened with these last two passings, partiuclarly. Updike's writing days are done. I can see headlines: "No New Updike." It's sad and scary, even though we must laud what he accomplished in life and hope others will come along to fill their shoes. I was most fond of Updike's novel about his father, as well as his poetry. And I'll never forget his description of a basketball goal and net as a metaphorical vagina of these United States. I never believed his descriptions of anal sex, however, because he described the feeling as finding one's way to a void. And it's nothing like that at all. Sad you missed it, John. But other than the good parts, he wrote such brilliant and forgotten things like _The Poorhouse Fair_. And he wrote reviews like nobody's business but his own. This man new and loved literature - and art - and will not be replaced nor matched. His created world was all his own, and I just don't think anyone else will be able to go there. Perhaps in his absence we can write a new kind of "Dear John" letters to the universe lamenting his earthly demise.

Oh, John. Vale, friend.

- Lawrence

Unknown said...

Some great short stories, too. "A & P" is one that always seemed to work with my freshman students.

Anonymous said...

John Updike possessed a truly beautiful mind; he didn't just write well, he wrote wisely