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January 27, 2009

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That's such a lovely story, and so typical of Updike's attention to the world. Thanks for sharing it.

I had the pleasure of knowing John Updike because I have known his wife for many decades before they were married. They visited me the first time when I lived in a town of 3000, Bolinas, California, known for being a village of drop outs, hippies, artists and poets, an as home particularly the ex wives of Gary Snyder, Ferlinghetti, Robert Creeley. I stopped in the small one street village before driving to my house and he stepped out of the car looked around and said, "So this is where the 60s went.
He was exactly as we see him on TV, warm, easy-going and very very observant.

I never cared for his stories, what I love about him as a writer was the way he said it. That was true of his novels, his essays which I adore, his short stories which I adore and his poetry.

He left the world a treasure. It was much much too soon for him to leave. Despite his many gifts to the world of literature, I know I will always look to see if his name is listed in the table of contents at the beginning of the New Yorker.

Marcia

Marcia and David and Stacey, thank you for giving us Updike space on this wonderful blog. I think I must post the story of when Updike wrote my father a letter for his fortieth birthday. (Come to think of it, I turn 40 myself four weeks from tonight.)

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark
                   

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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