miércoles, 28 de enero de 2009

RABBIT DIED


The first modern,"adult" book I ever read (around 11,12 years old), was Rabbit, Run.
It hit me so hard that it haunted me for years. (making me very uneasy every time I bathed a small child).

It also started in me a bad habit that will remain with me forever: I looked around for every short story and book by Updike that I could get my hands on and gobbled them one after the other. (I do this to this day with every author I discover - it isn't something I'd recommend, since few authors resist such treatment )

I remember finding "Couples" hidden in my parents' wardrobe under Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley" - my father had granted me free access to his library provided I showed him beforehand what I meant to read. He never denied me permission to read any book, so I guess hiding these was a way of controlling my readings without openly censuring any book.

I think nobody has portrayed American family life in middle-class suburbia in the 50's,60's and all the way into the 70's like Updike. Many have tried, some more successfully than others. (I can't help thinking that Amis Jr. would have loved to be Updike - but he's British, see?). Cheever, Carver and so many... much forgotten Richard Yates comes to mind, with Revolutionary Road opening in cinemas - and his wonderful "Easter Parade".

Yet Updike is the daddy of them all.

Who will record the comings and goings of unfaithful spouses now that Rabbit died?

With still so many Angstroms on the run the world over!


Who will do it again? That's it: no one;

imitators and descendants aren't the same.


--John Updike


Collected Poems 1953-1993 (Knopf, 1993, p. 231)

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2 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

It´s such a big loss. We´ll miss him very sincerely. Francisca

francisca dijo...

It´s such a big loss. We´ll miss him very sincerely. Francisca

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