Comedian Baddiel cites Updike as a writer of influence

The Guardian [U.K.] books section has an ongoing feature on “The books of my life,” and earlier this year comedian David Baddiel was featured.

David Baddiel (Photo: Pal Hansen/The Guardian)

The book that changed him as a teenager?
Ways of Seeing by John Berger, at 18. It introduced me to the idea that what we assume to be natural is often ideological. In the book, this is primarily about art (particularly how images of women in art are utterly encoded with the male gaze) but I took from it an understanding that nearly everything we create, indeed think, has an underlying unconscious ideological component.”

The writer who changed his mind?
“John Updike. Again when I was 18, I read it without realising it was part of a sequence of books, Rabbit Is Rich. It converted me to the idea that, as Updike puts it, the job of art is to give the mundane its beautiful due—that if you are a good enough writer, your prose can make everything, even the most microscopic and ordinary things in life, rich and strange.”

Read the entire interview.

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