Reconsidering Updike.

Louis Menand’s review/essay of Adam Begely’s new Updike biography is fascinating:

The most persistent and mindlessly recycled criticism of Updike’s work is that he was infatuated with his own style, that he over-described everything to no purpose—that, as several critics put it, he had “nothing to say.” But Updike wasn’t merely showing off with his style. He wasn’t, as all those critics were essentially implying, masturbating. He was transubstantiating.

Menand doesn’t write a bad anything, but this piece has me reconsidering my lack of interest in Updike—due mostly to a tepid reaction to a couple anthology short stories and that David Foster Wallace hit piece. Perhaps I’ll have to give one of his earlier books a try…