I was first introduced to John Updike at the University of Vermont by one of my two favorite professors, Dr. Allen G. Shepherd. From there I developed a long term affair with Updike’s works. Alas, there will be no more…
From the New York Times:
John Updike, the kaleidoscopically gifted writer whose quartet of Rabbit Angstrom novels highlighted so vast and protean a body of fiction, verse, essays and criticism as to earn him comparisons with Henry James and Edmund Wilson among American men of letters, died today at a hospice outside Boston. He was 76 and lived in Beverley Farms, Mass.
The cause was cancer, according to a statement by Alfred A. Knopf, his publisher.
Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate his tales even more, and unfortunately, to identify more and more with his most famous character, Harry (Rabbit) Angstrom. Most literature seems to fade as the years pass, while Updikes work continues to grow in nuance for me.
For his family and friends, my most heartfelt condolences. For the rest of us, I suggest we pick up a copy of Rabbit Run or The Centaur (as I recall, Dr. Shepherd’s favorite…) and read. Then, when done, pass it one. Literature like that is, to our detriment, not written anymore.