Friday, January 30, 2009

John Updike

John Updike died from cancer this week. He’s someone I always meant to read more of. I remember him being the castaway on Desert Island Discs where he mentioned wondering where his love beads (remember them?) had gone to. I identified with that remark. If you look him up in Google images you’ll see lots of photos of him smiling

I’ve read several of his short stories and I have a copy of Couples which I’ve read four times. I also know someone else who has read Couples several times. I was interested to observe how my attitude to the main character Piet Hanema changed over the years. When I was young, he was exciting and could do no wrong. The last time I read the book a year ago, he’d become a cheat and an egoist, his wife, Angela was much better off without him - the rat! The background to all of this is the assassination of JFK. The book captures that moment when the world held its breath.

He was at the Hay-on-Wye festival in 2004

More from others.


Dru Marland said...

I remember his verse on tropical insects, which stuck in my mind so that I can now quote it thirty years later

They seek the light - it stirs their stark,
Ill-lit imaginations
And win, when stepped on in the dark,
Disgusted exclamations.

Donna said...

...Men...Some have it all and just end up throwing it all away...Happy night sweetie!!hughugs

alan said...

When I worked the assembly line I used to sneak a copy of "The New Yorker" (among other things) into a parts box and do a couple of cars to get far enough ahead to read a couple of paragraphs...

His pieces were always a treat!

As are your writings...


Anji said...

Dru: So he wrote poetry too! I think that 2009 will be the year I read more of his work.

Donna: True... but not all men.

Alan: I love the New Yorker! I can't afford a subscription, but occasionally some people I know pass me their old copies.

I feel honoured indeed to recieve praise in the same comment as John Updike.