John Updike attaches two epigraphs to Rabbit as Rich (1981), the third in his tetralogy of novels centering on Rabbit Angstrom. The reader can more easily grasp the pertinence of the first epigraph than that of the second, but it is precisely the tension between the two that conveys Updike's complexity of feeling about his epic protagonist.
"At night he lights up a good cigar, and climbs into the little old 'bus, and maybe cusses the carburetor, and shoots out home. He mows the lawn, or sneaks in some practice putting, and then he's ready for dinner."
--- George Babbitt, of the Ideal Citizen
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur. . .
--- Wallace Stevens, "A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts"
TIME magazine featured John Updike on its cover of April, 26, 1968, taking his novel Couples as a statement of the Zeitgeist.in the late 1960s. -- DL