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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John Updike

A single short story, an essay in a sportswriting collection, and about 30 or 40 pages of a novel before I quit. That's the extent of my experience with John Updike. Maybe it's a bit ridiculous, but I feel a little guilty about this. An author, by nearly all accounts a giant, and perhaps the most accomplished American writer of the 20th century (he won two Pulitzer Prizes and everything else at least once) and this is all I've read? I have been derelict, I think.

This is something I wonder about sometimes. Is it better to read everything by a few authors, or keep trying new authors, reading one book by as many authors as possible but never really getting too deep into any? I'm only 23, so I'm sure I'll get to the Rabbit novels eventually, but the daunting thing about literature is that you can never get to it all. I've got Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamozov sitting on my shelves, and I hesitate to pick them up, not out of any fear that I won't appreciate them, but more so that in my head I calculate how many shorter novels I could read in the same amount of time.

That's my non-Updike Updike post. I'll be back later with a Benjamin Button review.

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