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John Updike has been labeled a “protestant writer,” so it’s always interesting to hear what people of other faiths—especially articulate writers and inveterate readers—have to say about him as a religious writer. In “New Harmony: Another Brush with John Updike,” former Deseret News staffer and current Mormon Times and Faith page freelancer Jerry Earl Johnston shares his take on Roger’s Version . . . and a story involving the book he sent Updike for signing.
“After his death, one critic called him ‘The Mozart of American Letters.’ There was not only genius in his work, but also generosity and a buoyant spirit,” Johnston writes, adding, “I suspect those qualities came from his faith.” Read the rest of this entry »
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, blogger William Thornton posted a reconsideration of Updike’s novel Terrorist: “will the events of last week and the coming weeks’ vindicate one of John Updike’s last, and least regarded, novels?”
“The Ghost of John Updike and the Boston Bombing” was posted on Brilliant Disguises: A Christian Look at Contemporary and Classic Literary Fiction and Culture on Sunday, April 21, 2013.
Among other things, Thornton concludes, “Updike’s depiction of the War on Terror has a disquieting moral equivalency between Islamic fundamentalist terrorism and America’s reaction about it, and that reads less charitably after an event like the Boston Marathon attack and the city’s response.”
You can see the latest works of Miranda Updike, who studied with George Nick and Jo Sandman at Massachusetts College of Art, at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse now through June 27, 2013.
The one-person show is titled “Crowds,” and viewing hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s a federal courthouse, so be sure to bring a picture I.D. to gain admittance to the building at 1 Courthouse Way, Fan Pier, Boston, MA 02210. The number there is (617) 261-2440.
An opening reception will be held Friday, April 26, from 12-2 at the Harbor Park Gallery Space, 1st floor.
A.O. Scott writes in his description of new film “The Color of the Chameleon” by Bulgarian director Emil Christov, “As a storyteller and a maker of images, Mr. Christov demonstrates a remarkable, exuberant sense of strangeness. And also a very specific appreciation for the early work of John Updike.”
The occasion for the remarks was an article announcing the 42nd New Directors / New Films annual showcase for new filmmakers at Lincoln Center and MoMA, sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. The event took place this past March.
“The Color of the Chameleon” is described as “a dark comedy that takes place in the world of the secret police in Bulgaria around the fall of Communism,” and the photo is from the film.
Here’s the link to the Critics’ Notebook article from The New York Times.