Tuesday, February 03, 2009

John Updike

We didn't want to let the death of the writer John Updike go unremarked. Updike, most famous for his "Rabbit" books, has been described as a protestant writer in many of his obituaries, but obviously not what passes these days for a "Christian" writer. Those who go under that label usually qualify only because they don't have cuss words and have some ostensibly theological theme. It would be an insult to Updike to class him as one of these.

Updike faced American culture squarely, with all its warts. It's hard to tell exactly what Updike's theological convictions were--a quality he shares with other Christian writers like Wendell Berry, another writer who does not shrink from the world as it is. But, like Berry, he told the truth. It's hard to ask for more in writer in a literary world where we don't get much of it.

An excellent obituary can be found in the Economist.

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