Friday, 4 May 2012

Amis on Updike

Martin Amis's piece on John Updike (in Visiting Mrs Nabokov, 1993) is good on Updike's unique mix of genial social optimism and often startlingly intimate personal-confessional. As Amis puts it:
Modern fiction tends towards the autobiographical and American fiction more than most ... Yet the case of Updike is unquestionably extreme. The textural contrast between your first and second wife's pubic hair, for instance, is something that most writers feel their readers can get along without. [51]
I am part of that 'most writers' grouping, in this instance.

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