Byatt, Colson Whitehead, and Margaret Atwood. In between, many books are considered, some in introductions—to such classics as Walden, The Portrait of a Lady, and The Mabinogion —and many more in reviews, usually for The New Yorker. In factual waters, Mr. Reading Due Considerations is like taking a cruise that calls at many ports with a witty, sensitive, and articulate guide aboard—a voyage not to be missed.
When he considers an author I love, like Proust or Czeslaw Milosz, I often find myself appreciating familiar things in a new way. He writes to converse with us on a high plane but in simple language, often stately and sometimes dazzling.
102 Indispensible Works of Literary Criticism
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Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism - John Updike - Google Books
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Preview — Due Considerations by John Updike. In between, many books are considered, some in introductions—to such classics as Walden, The Portrait of a Lady, and The Mabinogion —and many more in reviews, usually for The New Yorker. In factual waters, Mr. Reading Due Considerations is like taking a cruise that calls at many ports with a witty, sensitive, and articulate guide aboard—a voyage not to be missed.
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To ask other readers questions about Due Considerations , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 21, Crossings rated it liked it. John Updike is one of my very favorite writers and I am specially indebted to Hugging The Shore for introducing me to some of the best books I've read. With Updike's guidance on traversing a crowded and to me, mostly unfamiliar literary landscape, I no longer felt limited by the narrow confines of my small town existence.
Each time, I read a book or an author recommended by Updike, the more I came to depend on his judgment. So, it was with a great deal of anticipation that I picked up Due Consi John Updike is one of my very favorite writers and I am specially indebted to Hugging The Shore for introducing me to some of the best books I've read. So, it was with a great deal of anticipation that I picked up Due Considerations.
To say the least, I was hoping to be introduced again to a fresh crop of literary talent from around the world, writers and works Updike had not been able to give consideration to before.
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But more than that I was hoping to hear his own thoughts about anything he thought worthy of consideration. While his reviews are as detailed, informative and insightful as they have always been, often he comes across as a little too kind to be critical or perhaps he has deliberately chosen to comment on works that he finds easy to lavish praise upon.
Whatever, the case, I found myself skimming through the entire section titled "Considering Books" and agreeing with NYT reviewer Christopher Hitchens when he says: Fair-mindedness here threatens to decline into something completely passive, neutral and inert. I must be one of those readers who loved every line of what Updike had to say about the literary output of others but have really been waiting for him to share more of himself with his readers.
In his essay "On Literary Biographies" Updike writes about the readers of such works : We read, those of us who do, literary biographies for a variety of reasons, of which the first and perhaps the most note-worthy is the desire to prolong and extend our intimacy with the author - to partake again, from another angle, of the joys we have experienced within the author's oeuvre, in the presence of a voice and mind we have come to love.
That describes precisely why I would have loved to hear more about Updike in his own words about himself. I missed that in Due Considerations - he just has not considered himself nearly enough. I would love a book devoted entirely to Personal Considerations which forms only a small section of this one. It is Updike.
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It is wonderful. The early sections of reviews and essays wring the mind and heart. And his account of his time at The New Yorker was exceptional. Those crabby old guys, also gracious, like the city they inhabited, come to life through Updike's eyes, which is a gift. Eventually, particularly when reading it straight through like an epic, the smaller, slighter bits seem like futzing around in the back of a drawer and pulling out all the scraps of cocktail napkins and old envelopes.
Yes, he would write a remembrance of Philadelphia, of the best books he read as a teenager While they are mildly interesting, those scraps, they are consistent with the long, amazing pieces because they are the generous responses of a brilliant man who was gracious and funny and a loss to us all. Oct 27, Ann Otto rated it really liked it. It's been years since I read John Updike's Rabbit series.
A professor I knew was obsessed with Updike's work and I never understood why until now. This compilation of Updike essays, articles, and reviews from the late 's and early 's is a treasure chest that led one reviewer to say that " Updike knows more about literature than almost anyone breathing today. He does tributes to many authors and dissects books categorized by genre. The reader may not be able to focus attention on every entry and some are too lengthy, such as a review of two collections of Philip Larkins' Collected Poems, but we're provided enough works of interest to create a "want to read" book list to last several years.
May 21, Linda rated it really liked it. Also read the essays first 67 pages and then several shorter pieces that looked interesting. Of those, really liked "Against Angelolatry" and "September 11, ". Elegant prose and thought-provoking content.
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Not meant to be read as a whole but savored. This collection is made up mostly of book reviews. I like his writing style but skipped most of the pieces. Aug 13, John rated it really liked it. Wonderful collection of essays.