On His Way: John Updike (1932-2009)


Updike is dead.

He wasn't was very high on my list of die-hard favourite authors, but hearing that he died today I thought back on the numerous works of his that have successfully stuck in my head. Rabbit, Run is atop that list. It was such a gut punch that I never dared seek out its sequels. It still informs me when I think of my own marriage, and the marriages of others, and when I think about what it's like is to (not) grow up as a North American, a spoiled spoiler, a "non adult adult."

On the other hand, all I remember about reading The Centaur was trying to figure out just how everybody in the story stood in relation to classical mythology. It's this sort of thing--this "I'm an author, here's my latest conceit" stuff-that rightly gives Tom Wolfe more fidgets than a ketchup stain.

Another story--a short--I remember vividly and with great fondness, is "A & P". I read it as a late twenty something, thank Zeus. If I'd read that one when a bit younger, it might have seriously tangled some already spotty wiring in my psyche.