Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Dangers of Reading


This man crafts literary crack.

This is John Updike.

He writes books that I cannot put down.

They cause me to neglect the myriad obligations of life.

I simply can't be arsed. I'm reading. I must finish the next part (cruelly he doesn't write in chapters much, just puts three-dot divisional markings between sections).

Right now I'm battling my addiction to his Rabbit series.

It's not polite. It's not politically correct. It's chock full of sex.

It's dated (published in the 60's and 70's).

It makes me laugh, cry, and agape with wonder at the power of its images.

Still, like all junkies, I think you should try it. If you have any appreciation at all for how difficult writing is, it will make you bow before it. You might even see God in some of its shadowed corners.

But I warn you: you will have to apologize to people for the things you did not do.

10 comments:

Azathoth said...

I'm the same way with reading. I concentrate to the point I'll not hear people while they're talking to me. My little Babushka gets quite upset.

Ari said...

Yeah, when it affects your relationships, it's called "addiction," Aza. ;)

Oh well. I'm off to read before bed. :)

Trevor Record said...

I just looked him up, he's published a lot of books. Can you suggest a favorite? Failing that, can you suggest a good one to start off with?

Ari said...

I just got into reading his stuff, and I started with Rabbit, Run. Now I'm on the second one, Rabbit Redux. I think there are 4 books in that series, and I know he won the Pulitzer for one of them... the last one I think.

I'd start with Rabbit, Run. I bought it randomly, not even really knowing what it was about, then got sucked immediately in. FYI, Rabbit is a guy who's in his late twenties. He used to be a big basketball star, and he's married to some girl he got pregnant I think. Their problems make up most of the story, which sounds mundane and boring, but the writing is just phenomenal.

It's not a shiny, happy story, though.

Let me know what you think if you read it!

Latigo Flint said...

John Updike has a look like he knows something I do not, which really pisses me off.

I wish I were there in that picture so I could smack John Updike in the back of the head with a used paper towel roll and giggle like a manic when he flinches.

Ari said...

I seem to recall, Latty, that you had a similar feeling about pugs. However, you might take a shine to him later, for like yours it intermittently mentions throat punching.

Trevor Record said...

Thanks Ari, I'll look into those next time I'm at the library.

Amandarama said...

I have not, as yet, read any Updike. As an English major, you'd think I'd read more. I mean, I do read. I guess, I just don't read broadly.

Dave Morris said...

I've never read his stuff, but I don't like reading older sexually oriented stuff, because it was a time before the newest techniques like "salad-tossing," the "Abe Lincoln," and the "zombie."

I like all my sexually explicit material to be completely up-to-date.

Ari said...

Np, Trevor. Anytime.

You should, Amanda. But then, I said that already.

I only know what 33.34% of those terms mean, Dave. That's probably to my advantage.

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