John Updike Dies


Obit Updike

Another Pulitzer winning writer has left us. Although possibly best known for his “Rabbit” series, many people may not be aware that he penned the book, “The Witches of Eastwick” on which the movie was based.

There is a fairly lengthy obit at Yahoo!, from which I will quote this bit:

His standing within the literary community may never have been greater than in 2006 when he delivered a passionate defense of bookstores and words, words on paper, at publishing’s annual national convention. Responding to a recent New York Times essay predicting a digital future, he scorned this “pretty grisly scenario” and praised the paper book as the site of an “encounter, in silence, of two minds.”

“So, booksellers, defend your lonely forts,” he concluded.

His speech was applauded, discussed and widely quoted, far more than the talk given at the same breakfast gathering by then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Let us defend the forts.

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7 thoughts on “John Updike Dies

  1. It’s a great, great loss. The “Rabbit” books changed everything for me (I always loved the way he could get me involved in a story about somebody who was a total jerk,) and after “Gertude and Claudius” I never thought about “Hamlet” the same way again.

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  2. I’m always sorry to see a writer pass on, especially the really good ones. It seems like those of us who still care about the written word become fewer and fewer all the time. Maybe that’s why my defense of the language can be, shall we say, quite vigorous at times.

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  3. I love that quote, “an encounter, in silence, of two minds.” I would add only, “and of two souls.” How marvelous, though, to think that his mind lives on in his books, and that we can still encounter him!

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  4. I love his quote, too. And, I strongly agree. I can understand the convenience of e-texts for certain people. But for me, a book must be something I can hold in my hands, lovingly flipping those pages…

    I see no reason why books shouldn’t be available in both forms. Make everyone happy!

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  5. I just can’t see reading a full novel on one of those little electronic readers. At least not yet. There is something viscerally satisfying about holding a physical book in your hands that I just can’t see getting from an electronic reader. Maybe someday when they approach the level of a full hologram and you can simulate turning pages…

    And if I were stranded on a desert island, I sure wouldn’t want anything that required batteries to contain my 3 favorite books!

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  6. I always get a little sad too, i think its b/c we find a connection with writers we enjoy reading…I didnt read the Rabbit books but I read “Witches” before I saw the film and loved it-wickedly fun!…I was excited to hear about “Widows of Eastwick” coming out recently…so he left us with something to read and remember him by!

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  7. Not just “The Widows…” janflora, but one more new book coming out in June. Did you like “Terrorist” ? It got so-so reviews but I thought the last hundred pages or so were dazzling.

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