I wish I could remember


the title of the short story in my 11th or 12th grade textbook that made me love John Updike.  I didn’t usually like short stories, was always a novel reader.  Why, I was the first girl in my class, 2nd grade I believe, to read a chapter book.  I remember great ritual about going to pick it out.  I do remember it was “The Diary of Betsy Ross”, and from their my love of nonfiction, biography and memoir bloomed.

Here’s a quote of his from “Assorted Prose”, 1965:

“The heart prefers to move against the grain of circumstance; perversity is the soul’s very life.”

From what I’ve read by Updike, I think this is an accurate depiction of him and his writing.    Just checked his bibliography at The John Updike Society website, and I read more of his work than I had remembered.  I am determined to find the story from my textbook in high school.  I doubt I’ll remember the name of it, even less likely I’ll remember the details of the story, but perhaps a sense of des ja vous will tell me I’ve read it before.

I think I mentioned I’m reading Hugging the Shore, which I didn’t think would hold my interest for long.  Perhaps because I had such a hard time with The Centaur recently.  I really prefer reading about people, rather than mythological characters.   I am enjoying this book immensely.  It is a collection of essays, interviews (satirical), and critiques of other writers.  I’m loving it, very thought provoking, and I love the biographical info. on other writers and some of the contexts of their works.

The interviews are very humorous.  I missed that gentle satire, slightly erotic way about his work. 

Teachers:  (of English, in the early ’80’s, ha ha) if you know the textbook or the story, please tell me.

I’m very happy with this huge tome.  It brings back lots of memories of happy reading, some from 30 years ago!

I might add I believe he really appreciated women.  Some may say he didn’t like women, but I think the opposite.  I think Updike loved woman, but they also puzzled him.  He knew them, though.

Here’s a link to a great Updike story I just read.  http://www.tiger-town.com/whatnot/updike/



2 Responses to “I wish I could remember”

  1. Your Blog always has me searching out authors and books I would have passed up. Let us know you ever find out about that story. Wonderful!

  2. Julie Says:

    Gerardine, thanks, as always, for stopping by. I think it was A & P, the one I referenced in the post at the end. It’s an excellent story, and after reading it, I’m pretty sure it’s the one, plus a twitter friend suggested it was A & P.

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