The Other John Updike Archive
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Celestial Seasonings (on being JUish)

Celestial Seasonings (on being JUish)
judaism

Updike found a nuance in the New Testament that he saw as sorely lacking in the Old. His theology made explicit in his last days may be responsible for the embargo of his final work (until2029) on the foundations of Christianity and the militant theology of Saint Paul (whom he concluded got it right).

Updike annoyed covenanted Jew and author Cynthia Ozick by implying that Judaism (in Kafkas case) might be admirably transcended. The difference between the Lords treatment of the woman at the well in the New Testament and Lots wife in the Old Testament speaks volumes.

The former was treated as a pillar of her community, the latter would become a  pillar of salt.  This begs a difficult question. Is Faith by its very natureexclusive? Can beliefs that are not merely divergent but polar opposite be reconciled in our deepest natures? Here we plead confusion or often present allegorical dilution.

As Updike put it To be [judged] sane, is to a great extent to be sociable

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 From the heartbreak of psoriasis to Lancome skin care model

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Ex Pat Updike? Not bloody likely!

Ex Pat Updike? Not bloody likely!
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“Saying that cultural objects have value,” Brian Eno once wrote, “is like saying that telephones have conversations.” Nearly all the cultural objects we consume arrive wrapped in inherited opinion; our preferences are always, to some extent, someone else’s. Visitors to the “Mona Lisa” know they are about to visit the greatest work of art ever and come away appropriately awed—or let down. An audience at a performance of “Hamlet” know it is regarded as a work of genius, so that is what they mostly see. Watts even calls the pre-eminence of Shakespeare a “historical fluke”.

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2014

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Press Clipping

Press Clipping

Giving the mundane its beautiful due John Updike

Attention is what creates value. Artworks are made as well by how people interact with them — and therefore by what quality of interaction they can inspire. So how do we assess an artist who we suspect is dreadful but who manages to inspire the right storm of attention, and whose audience seems to swoon in the appropriate way? We say, ‘Well done.’

The question is: ‘Is the act of getting attention a sufficient act for an artist? Or is that in fact the job description?’

Perhaps the art of the future will be indistinguishable.  From Brian Enos diary

John Updike's things in need of home - Austin Statesman