Thursday, June 18, 2009

aging: John Updike reflects

John Updike, who died in January 2009 at 76, reflected on the challenges and satisfactions of the aging writer in Books section of (November 2008).

The caption under his pensive mugshot reads: "Revered literary figure John Updike writes: 'With ominous frequency, I can’t think of the right word.'"

Despite that, his article reads as Updike-polished as ever. The thoughtful piece begins:

"Young or old, a writer sends a book into the world, not himself. There is no Senior Tour for authors, with the tees shortened by 20 yards and carts allowed. No mercy is extended by reviewers; by then it is not extended to the rookie writer, either. He or she may feel, as the gray-haired scribes of the day continue to take up space and consume the oxygen in the increasingly small room of the print world, that the elderly have the edge, with their established names and already secured honors."

Read all of "John Updike reflects on the challenges and satisfactions of the aging writer."


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