I tend to group Updike with Philip Roth and Saul Bellow (Roth is exactly a year less a day Updike's junior). But while Roth's prose tends to roll in waves, and Bellow's books build into one giant crest, Updike would be sitting on the beach, tending for a glimpse of pubic hair from a bikini crotch. He was a writer who loved cunt.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Updike at rest
I'm reading Hanif Kureishi's Something to Tell You at the moment and had just reached the sentence, "I was reminded of a book, Updike's Couples…" when I heard that John Updike is dead. He published The Widows of Eastwick only a few months ago and had outlived his greatest creation – he extended the great Rabbit series beyond the death of its central character, Rabbit Angstrom. I would recommend, too, his Bech books; light they may be but in them the author Updike seems truly free.