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Updike af Adam Begley
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Updike (udgave 2014)

af Adam Begley

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1386151,254 (3.72)6
"Updike is Adam Begley's masterful, much-anticipated biography of one of the most celebrated figures in American literature: Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike--a candid, intimate, and richly detailed look at his life and work.In this magisterial biography, Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, who dedicated himself to the task of transcribing "middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities."Updike explores the stages of the writer's pilgrim's progress: his beloved home turf of Berks County, Pennsylvania; his escape to Harvard; his brief, busy working life as the golden boy at The New Yorker; his family years in suburban Ipswich, Massachusetts; his extensive travel abroad; and his retreat to another Massachusetts town, Beverly Farms, where he remained until his death in 2009. Drawing from in-depth research as well as interviews with the writer's colleagues, friends, and family, Begley explores how Updike's fiction was shaped by his tumultuous personal life--including his enduring religious faith, his two marriages, and his first-hand experience of the "adulterous society" he was credited with exposing in the bestselling Couples.With a sharp critical sensibility that lends depth and originality to his analysis, Begley probes Updike's best-loved works--from Pigeon Feathers to The Witches of Eastwick to the Rabbit tetralogy--and reveals a surprising and deeply complex character fraught with contradictions: a kind man with a vicious wit, a gregarious charmer who was ruthlessly competitive, a private person compelled to spill his secrets on the printed page. Updike offers an admiring yet balanced look at this national treasure, a master whose writing continues to resonate like no one else's"--… (mere)
Medlem:RichLeComte
Titel:Updike
Forfattere:Adam Begley
Info:Harper (2014), Hardcover, 576 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Updike af Adam Begley

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» Se også 6 omtaler

Viser 5 af 5
John Updike is one of my favourite authors, and this is a BRILLIANT biography. Begley intertwines Updike's work with his writing- the level of autobiography in his every novel, poem and short story is brought out vividly, as Begley takes us through his life. From a happy childhood in Shillington, Pennsylvania, child of a not particularly successful teacher father ("The Centaur" !) and an ambitious, literary mother who relocates her family to a rural location ("The Centaur" again!); his time in Harvard, marriage, time in UK, working on the New Yorker ("Bech"!), kids, a rampant social life and yet a solid religious conviction ("Couples" !) As divorce, a broken family, remarriage and old age confront Updike, we again see echoes in the "Rabbit" tetralogy . Of course, I've only read a few of his many works and there are a vast amount of other works which Begley introduces us to, and through which I felt I gained a fair insight into the genial and hugely intelligent Updike.

As remarked on by another reviewer, we do feel a lack of vision into Updike's second marriage; his second wife didn't involve herself in this work (unlike his first ) and it shows.
But overall a truly excellent, erudite but uttely readable work. ( )
  starbox | Jun 15, 2019 |
I am a sucker for literary biographies, and this is a really really good one, on a par with Blake Bailey's Cheever biography. (I am a fan of Updike's work, which helps.) In particular, Updike's relationship with his mother is fascinating. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I am a sucker for literary biographies, and this is a really really good one, on a par with Blake Bailey's Cheever biography. (I am a fan of Updike's work, which helps.) In particular, Updike's relationship with his mother is fascinating. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
I am disappointed by UPDIKE by Adam Begley. More than a biography of his life it is a biography of his writing, down to each short story. So it was the structure that bother me. I would like to have known more about his life, though the author does work in his life into each piece of Updike's writing. Too long for too little. ( )
1 stem SigmundFraud | May 1, 2014 |
In the past few years, I have read several works of John Updike (1932-2009) and plan to continue to do so. Updike was a Renaissance writer: he wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, art criticism, book reviews, even a autobiography (although the last was not all-encompassing of his life). Nearly all of his prolific works were published, and many were compiled in collections as well. While others surely have written about Updike, Adam Begley provides an extensive biography and closer look at the man and author.

Begley looks at how John Updike's own life and experiences colored his writing. This approach provides insight for a reader of Updike. For instance, during the 60s and 70s, many of Updike's novels and short stories dealt with adultery; so it was not coincidental that during this era Updike and his first wife engaged in several affairs that eventually contributed to the end of their marriage.

Begley provides some literary analysis (but not of the Cliffs Notes form, nor are there spoilers) of much of Updike's work, although some are discussed much more extensively than others. What is discussed is mainly Updike's short stories and novels, rather than his essays and criticisms.

John Updike passed away at the age of 76. The first forty or so years of his life and works during that time take up most of this biography -- probably about 70% of the text. I think there are two reasons for this. Updike was better known and acclaimed during this period; although the quality (and quantity) of his writing did not change or decline significantly in his later years, although he experimented with different forms more later on. The second reason of the imbalance of Updike's represented life is that Begley drew from archival information and interviews with Updike's colleagues, friends and family. Begley also gleaned, and used, much information from interviews with Updike's first wife, Mary. In fact, in the acknowledgements section, the very first person Begley thanks is Mary. For whatever reason, second wife Martha Updike is apparently not a direct source of information for Begley's biography. Maybe she refused to collaborate with Begley, or maybe he did not attempt to work with her. Martha is depicted as having been fiercely protective of Updike's time and privacy during the thirty years that they were together.

In spite of the fact that Begley doesn't seem to treat Martha all too kindly (he refers to people he interviewed saying things such as that John was snatched away by Martha from his friends and children), Begley is mostly fair in his overall writing and does not stoop to tabloid-style reporting. The result, though, is not a dry account of Updike's complex life.

Because of Begley's approach of intertwining Updike himself with his works (which only makes sense as that is what Updike did with his writing), a reader has to have read at least some Updike to appreciate this biography. However, this biography will also provide a better understanding of any un-read works of his in addition to what has already been read.

I enjoyed reading this biography and it will help me be a better reader of Updike. He wrote so much, that there is still much left for me to read.

Quote by Adam Begley, early in the book (p.15):

"The more Updike one reads, and the more one learns about his life, the more glaringly obvious it becomes that he was enthralled by the details of his own experience. Does it make him a lesser artist that he so often relied on self-portraits and transcriptions of actual events and circumstances? Perhaps it would if the portraits were documentary photorealism and the action unedited chronology: the prose equivalent of a live webcam. Though he announced his desire to "imitate reality with increasing closeness," he knew full well that there is no way of translating raw experience into words without altering it. And that was never his intention." ( )
2 stem ValerieAndBooks | Apr 15, 2014 |
Viser 5 af 5
Both this talent and a reverence for the ordinary problems of ordinary people were obvious in the first Updike novel I ever read, “Rabbit, Run” (1960), published in Turkish translation in 1971. This was a completely different, less dramatic but more believable and more intensely felt America than the one inhabited by Steinbeck’s California fruit pickers or Hemingway’s war-loving and assertive heroes, far from Faulkner’s gothic atmospheres crumbling under the weight of the past and of problems of race.
tilføjet af ddonahue | RedigerNew York Times Book Review, Orhan Pamuk (Apr 19, 2014)
 
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"Updike is Adam Begley's masterful, much-anticipated biography of one of the most celebrated figures in American literature: Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike--a candid, intimate, and richly detailed look at his life and work.In this magisterial biography, Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, who dedicated himself to the task of transcribing "middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities."Updike explores the stages of the writer's pilgrim's progress: his beloved home turf of Berks County, Pennsylvania; his escape to Harvard; his brief, busy working life as the golden boy at The New Yorker; his family years in suburban Ipswich, Massachusetts; his extensive travel abroad; and his retreat to another Massachusetts town, Beverly Farms, where he remained until his death in 2009. Drawing from in-depth research as well as interviews with the writer's colleagues, friends, and family, Begley explores how Updike's fiction was shaped by his tumultuous personal life--including his enduring religious faith, his two marriages, and his first-hand experience of the "adulterous society" he was credited with exposing in the bestselling Couples.With a sharp critical sensibility that lends depth and originality to his analysis, Begley probes Updike's best-loved works--from Pigeon Feathers to The Witches of Eastwick to the Rabbit tetralogy--and reveals a surprising and deeply complex character fraught with contradictions: a kind man with a vicious wit, a gregarious charmer who was ruthlessly competitive, a private person compelled to spill his secrets on the printed page. Updike offers an admiring yet balanced look at this national treasure, a master whose writing continues to resonate like no one else's"--

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