My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

John Updike on books

“From earliest childhood I was charmed by the materials of my craft, by pencils and paper and, later, by the typewriter and the entire apparatus of printing. To condense from one’s memories and fantasies and small discoveries dark marks on paper which become handsomely reproducible many times over still seems to me, after nearly 30 years concerned with the making of books, a magical act, and a delightful technical process. To distribute oneself thus, as a kind of confetti shower falling upon the heads and shoulders of mankind out of bookstores and the pages of magazines is surely a great privilege and a defiance of the usual earthbound laws whereby human beings make themselves known to one another.”

John Updike

I haven’t read a single of Updike’s famous Rabbit novels, and yet when I heard of his death yesterday, I felt I had lost a friend. He wrote tirelessly for the New Yorker – short stories, essays, long, erudite yet quirky and personal reviews of other writers.  While his pieces filled that magazine and others, he was still writing novels – one a year, more or less. The New York Times article speaks of his “ebullient creativity” – a love of words and of writing, those “dark marks on paper,” that carried him through life and carried us with him.

I had noticed that his work was darker, more concerned with mortality, but put it down to the natural thoughtfulness of an ageing writer. He didn’t tell us that he was suffering from lung cancer and kept writing until he died.

An interview with John Updike will be replayed on Eleanor Wachtel’s “Writers and Company” this coming Sunday afternoon at 3, on CBC-1.  Don’t miss it.

Share

Share
Tweet
Share
Pin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

Archives

Coming soon

A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

Join the mailing list to stay up to date on this and other exciting news.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.