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Pop Culture / Celebrities > No More Updike :(

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message 1: by Heidi (new)

message 2: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) Very sad.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm going to miss his book reviews in The New Yorker.

message 4: by Jessica (last edited Jan 28, 2009 10:10AM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) a friend sent me this today, what he'd sent his students (after I'd sent him the full Slate article):
"Updike wasn't one of my favorite authors, but the paragraph below, from an article in Slate, reminds us of his great strength, an attention to detail and precision. Below that, an example of a paragraph describing opening a beer can" (New Yorker, 1964)

"The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and he does it without destroying something else."
--John Updike, writer (1932-2009)

"Updike's most enduring legacy exists at the level of the sentence. If you count swinging Saul Bellow as a Canadian, Montreal-born, and also class Vladimir Nabokov as a transnational, all-transcending anomaly, then Updike is, line for line, without peer, the finest American prose stylist of the postwar era: meticulous, crystalline, and luminously hyperrealist, his opulent language hanging on austere forms. Even his bad writing—and the consequence of his three-pages-per-day prolificity is that there's no shortage of it—sparks with phrases that send the heart skittering."
--from Slate

The Beer Can

This seems to be an era of gratuitous inventions & negative improvements. Consider the beer can-it was beautiful-as a clothespin, as inevitable as the wine bottle, as dignified & reassuring as the fire hydrant. A tranquil cylinder of dignified & reassuring as the fire hydrant. A tranquil cylinder of delightfully resonant metal, it could be opened in an instant, requiring only the application of a handy gadget freely dispensed by every grocer... Now we are given instead, a top beetling with an ugly, shmoo-shaped "tab," which after fiercely resisting the tugging, bleeding fingers of the thirsty man, threatens his lips with a dangerous & hideous hole. However, we have discovered a way to thwart Progress... Turn the beer can upside down and open the bottom. The bottom is still the way the top used to be. This operation gives the beer an unsettling jolt, and the sight of a consistently inverted beer can makes some people edgy. But the latter difficulty could be cleared up if manufacturers would design cans that looked the same whichever end was up, like playing cards. Now, that would be progress.

message 5: by Heidi (last edited Jan 28, 2009 10:53AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments My stepmom posted this as her FB update:

"is saluting John Updike, who loved Nana Mac's biscuits." Nana Mac is her grandmother. I had nooo idea. Waiting to hear the story... My stepmom has THE best anecdotes to share.

message 6: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments OH MAAAAAN! James Brady, too?!! This is too sad.

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