Friday, February 6, 2009

A Dying Planet Not Yet Dead: Updike on Mars

One of the final pieces John Updike published before his passing was an appreciation of the mysteries of Mars and NASA's ongoing attempts at exploration.

In the article, written for National Geographic, he describes it as "a dying planet not yet dead," which is what I think of as a surprising analogy for Updike's own place in the constellation of American literature.

He was a man of his time -- 60s and 70s suburbia -- and though his skills never diminished, his status did fade as he lost his grip on the mores of the age. (See: Tom Wolfe). Updike was a Dying Planet Not Yet Dead and will likely remain so for some time.

And, just for fun, here's an audio interview he did with National Geographic in 2007 about bizarre and novel dinosaurs.

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