Remembering Updike

John Updike

John Updike

I feel I am closest to God when writing. You’re singing praises. You’re describing the world, as it is. And even if the passages turn out sordid or depressing, there’s something holy about the truth — John Updike, commenting when interviewed for NPR’s ‘Tell Me A Story,’ as reflected upon by the host, Marjorie Leet Ford, March 31, 2003.*

Over breakfast this morning, I read the NY Times article A Relentless Updike Mapped America’s Mysteries.  In addition, I watched the brief, but stimulating October 2008 interview of John Updike (1932-2009) focused upon the craft of fiction and the art of writing.  Hungry for more, I watched the A Life in Letters Interview. ** With regard to both pieces, I was struck by the wisdom of this 76 year old from central Pennsylvania (who moved north for a Harvard education and continued in suburban Massachusetts for writing and family life).  As for Updike’s Tour of Protestantism, I found a helpful piece in Religion & Ethics Newsweekly’s report on his 2004 presentation at the Center for Religious Inquiry, St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York City.

Any Updike fans/experts have thoughts to share regarding the film version of “The Witches of Eastwick” (1987) versus his 1984 book, his range of writing, his characters, his themes (and the research involved in them), his life, his faith?  I must confess that I’m not very familiar with Updike and would love to learn more.  Teach me.

*HT to Dick Staub’s post John Updike Quotes By and About.

**Update (1/29/09): Treated to John Updike, a Lyrical Writer of the Middle-Class Man, Dies at 76  over breakfast this morning.  Great to learn more about his PA childhood, his progression of writing, and the tragic nature of his basketball star (another book series to add to my reading list).

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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One Comment

    coffee commented on January 30, 2009 Reply

    John Updike’s passing is sad news indeed… he possessed a truly beautiful mind; he didn’t just write well, he wrote wisely

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