By John Updike
In John Updike’s moment selection of diverse prose he comes into his personal as a publication reviewer; many of the items picked up the following have been first released in The New Yorker in the Sixties and early ’70s. If one note may sum up the younger critic’s method of books and their authors it might be “generosity”: “Better to compliment and share,” he says in his Foreword, “than guilty and ban.” And so he follows his enthusiasms, which turn out either deserving and infectious: Kierkegaard, Proust, Joyce, Dostoevsky, and Hamsun one of the classics; Borges, Nabokov, Grass, Bellow, Cheever, and Jong one of the contemporaries. right here too are meditations on devil and cemeteries, go back and forth essays on London and Anguilla, 3 very early “golf dreams,” and one enormous interview. Picked-Up items is a glittering treasury for each reader who likes lifestyles, books, wit—and John Updike.
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Invent the realm! Invent truth! " during the invented fact of this novel, harlequins recur, as a butterfly glimpsed with Annette and as an Iranian circus troupe that forums a Soviet airplane, because the "motley of insanity" the hero wears and as a crafty multiplicity of lozenge-shapes, a few as small as a "sequence of suspension dots in diamond style. " because the jacket layout reminds us, a harlequin's conventional lozenge-pattern is a chessboard made indirect. Beside him at the medical institution bedside desk, as VadimjVladimir, "paralyzed in symmetrical patches," slowly reassembles the realm, he notices "a pair of harlequin sun shades, which for a few cause prompt no longer security from a harsh gentle however the overlaying of tear-swollen lids. " Which trace of masked grief indicates, extra strongly than is his wont, why our writer has so insistently harlequinized the area and twe~ked the chessboard of fact awry. , t • t A Tribute Contributed to the Triquarterly, iciness /970, factor, Celebrating N abokov's 70th Birthday YOUR INVITATIONto Vladimir Nabokov's celebration reaches me in England, and it used to be in England, approximately fifteen years in the past, in Oxford, that I first learn this nice guy: within the New Yorker, the Pnin tale the place the pencil sharpener says ticonderoga, ticonderoga and Pnin bursts into tears in the course of a flickering Russian movie. It was once one other fictional universe, or no less than a gorgeous intensification of the normal one, and it's been one of many steadier TRIBUTE 221 pleasures of the fifteen years because to make amends for the significant volume of Nabokov then in English and to maintain with the abundant installments of reincarnated Russian and newly spawned American t~at have b. een issued via an untidy collection of publishers, rangrng from the based Bollingen Press to a depressing little bindery referred to as, i believe, Phaedra. " notwithstanding i'll have nodded right here and there one of the volumes of notes to Onegin, i have never knowingly overlooked any of the remainder; for Nabokov isn't lazy, by no means ungenerous along with his jewels and thrives, and his oeuvre is of adequate majesty to manage to pay for fascinating views even from the close:s and again hallways. i've got expressed in print my opinion that he's now an American author and the simplest residing; i've got additionally expressed my doubt that his aesthetic models-chess puzzles ~nd protecting colours in lepidoptera-can be very priceless beliefs for the remainder of us. His significance for me as a author has been his conserving excessive, in an age whilst the word "artistic integrity" has ~ a little bit paradoxical if now not reactionary ring, the stony photo of hIS self-sufficiency: perverse he might be, yet now not abject; prankish yet no longer has. t~; sterile yet no longer impotent. Even the least warming aspec~s of 1~lsImage-the implacable hatreds, the reflexive contempt -testify, like castle partitions, to the truth of the siege this unusual century lays opposed to our privateness and satisfaction. As a reader, i need to sign in my influence that Nabokov doesn't (as Philip Toynbee, and different critics, have claimed) lack center.