Sunday, February 01, 2009


Ian McEwan makes much of what he sees as metaphysical dread and shadows in John Updike's work. In this account the alienation of industrialized man from nature is almost an afterthought:
That dead spot is probed and palpated in the ever-present metaphysics, the thwarted religious sense, or in moments when a denatured suburbanite glances up beyond the telegraph poles and wires and notices that spring is coming on and experiences a jolt of indistinct excitement that is quickly smothered; or when Harry Angstrom, waiting to receive a serve in a game of social tennis, thinks of the mounting numbers of dead in his life, and feels camaraderie for his friends and loves the treetops around him - but cannot name a single tree, never reads a book, knows nothing and feels his life to be threadbare.
Martin Amis here.

Here Updike imagines looking back from 2099, and here are other writers' memories.

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