Published Couples essay from 1996 now online

220px-CouplesUpdike scholars and fans can now access a critical essay on Couples that was published in The International Fiction Review 23 (1996):

“Fire, Rain, Rooster:  John Updike’s Christian Allegory in Couples,” by Sukhbir Singh, University of Chicago, begins,

“Most critics deal with John Updike’s Couples (1969) as a book about ‘sex,’ and ‘adultery.’ They invariably argue that in Couples, Updike advocates promiscuity as an antidote to the prevalent climate of nihilism, and he thereby repudiates a cardinal dictum of Christianity: ‘Though Shalt Not Commit Adultery.’ These commentators pay scant attention to Updike’s view of the supernatural and miss his allegorical motif in the novel. Contrary to their assertions, I will argue that Couples is a novel of spiritual awakening, taking into account the symbolic significance of the burning church in the text, and that in his novels Updike upholds the Christian belief in the presence of God and the piety of love, sex, and marriage.”

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