|Caricature of Updike by David Levine (Wikipedia)|
John Updike once said of his task as a writer, “My only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me - to give the mundane its beautiful due.”
In book after book, he did just that.
With a sharp eye and a searching intellect, Updike reconstituted the details of everyday life into fluid, lyrical prose.
“He turned a sentence better than anyone else,” said Ian McEwan in reaction to Updike’s untimely death in 2009.
Philip Roth added: “John Updike is our time’s greatest man of letters, as brilliant a literary critic and essayist as he was a novelist and short story writer.
He is and always will be no less a national treasure than his 19th-century precursor, Nathaniel Hawthorne. His death constitutes a loss to our literature that is immeasurable.”
In June of 2004, Updike sat for an interview with the Academy of Achievement, a Washington-based non-profit group dedicated to inspiring young people to succeed. In a wide-ranging conversation, Updike is asked whether he has any advice for writers just starting out.
“You hesitate to give advice to young writers,” Updike says, “because there’s a limit to what you can say. It’s not exactly like being a musician, or even an artist, where there’s a set number of skills that have to be mastered.” Nevertheless, he goes on to make several suggestions:
To read the full interview with John Updike, which includes more video highlights, visit the Academy of Achievement Web site.
via Dangerous Minds