Thursday, January 29, 2009

John Updike (1932-2009)

John Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009)

Michiko Kakutani, veteran New York Times book critic, writes "ENDOWED with an art student's pictorial imagination, a journalist's sociological eye and a poet's gift for metaphor, John Updike – who died on Tuesday at 76 – was arguably America's one true all-around man of letters.
He moved fluently from fiction to criticism, from light verse to short stories to the long-distance form of the novel: a literary decathlete in our age of electronic distraction and willful specialisation, Victorian in his industriousness and almost blogger-like in his determination to turn every scrap of knowledge and experience into words."

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt writes " John Updike, the kaleidoscopically gifted writer whose quartet of Rabbit Angstrom novels highlighted so vast and protean a body of fiction, verse, essays and criticism as to place him in the first rank of among American men of letters....".

"I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles, if I had to," he told The Paris Review in 1967. "The miracle of turning inklings into thoughts and thoughts into words and words into metal and print and ink never palls for me."

Long back, I recall reading two of his Rabbit novels. Hope to catch up on his other works.


coffee said...

John Updike's passing is sad news indeed... he possessed a truly beautiful mind; he didn't just write well, he wrote wisely

Krishnan said...

You said it right, thanks for coming by.