Breaking news: John Updike, 76 died today.

When I posted this link at artsandfaith.com, Paste magazine’s Andy Whitman responded:

John Updike will always be one of my favorite writers. He wrote a dozen or more best-sellers, and could certainly be accused of pandering to the more lascivious tastes of contemporary readers. But in my mind he was the best writer on sex as commodity in American fiction, and he always brought an icy, contemplative chill to his sex scenes. If you got aroused during this stuff, you just weren’t really paying attention.

His lasting legacy will probably be his four Rabbit novels — Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest — one published at the end of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, respectively. … Rabbit was one of the most fully realized and complex characters in American literature, and I still marvel at the ways Updike was able to communicate the many facets of his personality. Now Updike himself is at rest. I’m thankful for his supremely moral vision and his always sparkling prose. May he rest in peace.

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