Mark Oppenheimer’s essay, “Why Everyone Used to Read Updike,” from five years ago, in which it occurs to him that “those frequent short stories that grab New Yorker space from younger, fresher voices, and those novels appearing at regular intervals, are not read by anyone I know.”
A much older appreciation from Joyce Carol Oates: Updike’s genius, she begins, “is best excited by the lyric possibilities of tragic events that, failing to justify themselves as tragedy, turn unaccountably into comedies.”
Updike’s rules for reviewing, discussed and debated on the blog of the National Book Critics Circle.
And don’t miss the UK Guardian’s John Updike: A Life in Pictures.
With, attached, a remembrance from Martin Amis, who calls Updike “congenitally unembarrassable,” but figures it’s in a good way.
The New Yorker gathers and posts remembrances.
And Todd Gitlin takes on his failures of nerve: “Something went still and cold in him in the face of big tragedy, and it was this, I think, that keeps him out of the company of the American indispensables.”