December 2010

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Brian Keener, author of John Updike’s Human Comedy: Comic Morality in The Centaur and the Rabbit Novels, writes that “our man John Updike has now made an appearance as a literary character. According to a book review of Steve Martin’s new novel, An Object of Beauty, in The New York Times on Nov. 26 (“Only Collect,” by Alexandra Jacobs), Updike appears “in the form of a stranger on a train” with the heroine addressing him, ‘Sit down, father figure.’ This development may open up a new vein of Updike scholarly investigation: John Updike as a literary character.”

And to think that a comic actor may have started the ball rolling.

Takashi Nakatani, an associate professor at Yokohama City University who attended the First Biennial John Updike Society Conference, wrote an essay/report on “Updike Gakkai Soritsu-Taikai Shusseki-no Ki” (“Report on the Updike Society Inaugural Conference”) which was published in Web Eigo-Seinen (The Web Rising Generation) 156:9 (2010): 49-52. Web. 1 December 2010. Below is the first page. For the rest, see Web Eigo-Seinen.

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council “Humanities on the Road” Season 1 broadcast schedule includes a Dec. 3 program on John Updike’s Pennsylvania that will also be viewable via Internet streaming.

The program by Society member Frank Fitzpatrick (pictured), who’s a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is illustrated with slides of Berks County locations important to Updike’s world. It will air on PCN-TV Friday, Dec. 3 from 6-7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4 from 2-3 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 6, from 10-11 a.m. The shows are also available as streaming videos during broadcast on www.pcntv.com, offered On Demand to Comcast subscribers, and on PHC’s YouTube Channel. Here’s the link.

Thanks to member Ken Krawchuk for drawing our attention to it.