January 27, 2009

John Updike

Rest in Peace.

Probably one of my favorite authors, if inches of shelf space are any judge - I own most of his short story collections and many of his novels (not an easy feat, considering how prolific he was)

I fell upon Mr. Updike in high school english class. The short story A&P if I recall correctly. Completely subversive to my at the time "good little kid" self. When Sammy unties his apron and walks out at the end, it was that one bold act of definance against the system, following one's bliss no matter how foolhardy. I loved the language, I loved the bubbling sexual and sensual tension. Updike's characters were so often flawed, thinking with their libidos, and not always able to contain themselves. I loved them all.

So many characters, so many memories. The two that come to mind right now - the sexual tension of dental hygiene in "Tristan and Iseult". Rabbit Angstrom, shooting hoops until the big one takes him down in Rabbit at Rest.

Not a lot of time to write, here from Gate 6 at Bradley. But I'll be thinking a lot about John Updike as I head off into life.

1 comment:

Terrence McCarthy said...

RIP Updike. I'll check out that A&P story. And we're picking up Bruce's latest tomorrow, as we head south to Fort Myers Beach.