Wallace on Updike

An essay by David Foster Wallace on John Updike.  I was peripherally aware of this piece, but now that it has come into full consciousness and expresses my thoughts about the several writers mentioned at the beginning, I shall reread and seek to find if Mr. Wallace has expressed my own reservations about Mr. Updike's fiction.


  1. Steven - I have a distaste for Updike comparable to your own for Roth. I have tried but have yet to complete one of Updike's novels, partly because of their unnecessary length but also due to their mawkishness and unbelievable characters.

  2. Dear Anthony,

    I'm trying to figure out whether or not I have a "distaste for Roth". Sometimes I think I do, but I struggle to figure out where Roth stands on a lot of issues and his language can be, at times, ravishing. And, he has one book (at least) that stands out as an unqualified winner--The Plot Against America. There may be others--I just don't know enough of the opus yet.

    Updike on the other hand, other than the nonficiton, I tend to agree with your assessment. Oh, and some of the short stories--some of them are splendid. But as for the novels, I have forged my way through several and with the lone exception of The Centaur have wondered whether it was really worth the trouble to have done so.




Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Structures--Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway

Lewis Carroll and James Joyce

Another Queen of Night