In this Book

summary
The winner of every major American literary prize, John Updike (1932–2009) was one of the most popular and prolific novelists of his time and a major cultural figure who traced the high point and fall of midcentury American self-confidence and energy. A superb stylist with sixty books to his credit, he brilliantly rendered the physical surfaces of the nation’s life even as he revealed the intense longings beneath those surfaces. In Understanding John Updike, Frederic Svoboda elucidates the author’s deep insights into the second half of the twentieth century as seen through the lives of ordinary men and women. He offers extended close readings of Updike’s most significant works of fiction, templates through which his entire oeuvre may be understood. A small-town Pennsylvanian whose prodigious talent took him to Harvard, a staff position at the New Yorker, and ultimately a life in suburban Massachusetts, where the pace of his literary output never slowed, Updike was very much in the American cultural tradition. His series of Rabbit Angstrom novels strongly echo Sinclair Lewis’s earlier explorations of middle America, while The Witches of Eastwick and related novels are variations on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s nineteenth-century classic The Scarlet Letter. His number-one best seller Couples examines what Time magazine called “the adulterous society” in the last year of the Kennedy administration, following the nation’s fall from idealism into self-centeredness. Understanding John Updike will give both new readers and those already familiar with the author a firm grasp of his literary achievement. This outline of Updike’s professional career highlights his importance in the life of the nation—not only as a novelist but also as a gifted essayist, reviewer, cultural critic, and poet.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Series Editor’s Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. Understanding John Updike
  2. pp. 1-12
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. The Rabbit Angstrom Tetralogy: Updike’s Masterpiece and Template for Understanding His Works
  2. pp. 13-83
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. The Maples Stories, Olinger Stories, and Other Short Fiction
  2. pp. 84-87
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Couples (1968)
  2. pp. 88-92
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. The Shadow of Nathaniel Hawthorne and New England Puritanism: The Eastwick and Scarlet Letter novels
  2. pp. 93-109
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Guide to Major Works: The Henry Bech Novellas
  2. pp. 110-111
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. A Brief Summing Up
  2. pp. 112-114
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 115-120
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 121-124
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9781611178630
Print ISBN
9781611178623
MARC Record
OCLC
1022076512
Pages
136
Launched on MUSE
2018-03-19
Language
English
Open Access
N
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.