The Other John Updike Archive
Kula Art, Morrissey

Mr. Postman Look and See .

Mr. Postman Look and See .

This is a restatement of purpose. This site will no longer lay fallow after a suspension of postings due to copyright concerns. The most historical material, the pristine photography from a visual master and his private thoughts in writing, committed to computer discs, must remain for now in a secure location. The artifacts contained herein of this exquisite 20th century documentarian are a time capsule.  I am:  giving the mundane its beautiful due  in order to preserve the material legacy which he articulated. These are the remnants of a life dedicated to recovering the sense memory of a objects imbued with human intention

For John Updike the postal system was magic. Simply sending a note is for him a message in a bottle; receiving a response, an answered prayer.  Like a stamp collecting boy, postal transactions and delivery retained their seraphic magic.  A letter held for him the sacredness of  a time traversed communion delivered safely to the door of his fortress of solitude. It was as if the Holy Spirit moonlighted as carrier pigeon.  In the pagan, organic and material world of objects, he is arrested by a sense of  implied divinity in the system of our transported paper wishes. Like everything else in his material world, it is for him, a kind of miracle. Plagued by theological doubt, and at times overcome by panic, moral terror and a sense of futility, he shunned Eastern transcendence and looked breathlessly for material evidence to justify his hope that a loving and merciful God presented Himself in nature, humanity, the stars and even within the much maligned system known as the postal service. Paul MoranRoyal Wedding.


Royal Wedding 2


John Updikes Archive: A Great Writer at Work


As it grew, he wore his fame lightly as his due, like one of his own well-worn sweaters, thin at the elbows. He loved public institutions — libraries, schools, the post office — letters arriving and departing, the simple act of completion — dropping it in the slot. David Updike remembers his father in New York Times column: A Toast to the Visible World  August 10, 2009