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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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IT has been a hard year or so for writers. The world seems to grow emptier and emptier, depletion without replenishment, and now with the passing of John Updike at the age of 76, death has taken perhaps its biggest prize.
Literature, of course, is not a contest. Still, that Stockholm did not ultimately embrace Mr. Updike — a Nobel, why not? — seems too bad, as it probably would have meant a lot to him, and to us as well to have his erudition and hard work and enthusiastic witnessing of postwar America honored on such a stage. The news that he died in a hospice not far from his house, and the new ordinariness of this current manner of death, made me wonder what he would have noticed and written about it —“I’m sure it will be discovered he was taking notes,” a friend said, hopefully — for he was gifted at describing everything.
Mr. Updike’s novels wove an explicit and teeming tapestry of male and female appetites. He noticed astutely, precisely, unnervingly. His stories, some of the best ever written by anyone, were jewels of existential comedy, domestic anguish and restraint.
Read it all.
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