By John Updike
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John Updike’s first selection of nonfiction items, released in 1965 whilst the writer was once thirty-three, is a diverting and illuminating gambol via midcentury the US and the writer’s adolescence. It opens with a call number of parodies, casuals, and “Talk of the Town” reviews, the culmination of Updike’s boyish ambition to stick to within the footsteps of Thurber and White. those jeux d’esprit are through “Hub enthusiasts Bid child Adieu,” an immortal account of Ted Williams’s final at-bat in Fenway Park; “The Dogwood Tree,” a Wordsworthian evocation of 1 Pennsylvania youth; and 5 autobiographical essays and tales. Rounding out the quantity are vintage concerns of Nabokov, Salinger, Spark, Beckett, and others, the earliest efforts of the booklet reviewer who may pass directly to turn into, in The big apple Times’s estimation, “the pre-eminent critic of his generation.” Updike referred to as this assortment “motley yet no longer unshapely.” a few may name it a vintage of its style.
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WE LOOKEDFORWARD with avidity to the pictures of t~e moon sent back by Ranger VII, but now that they: are m Life between Lyndon Johnson and the Vanderbilts, we confess ourself disappointed. What did we expect? NO~ ~eal~, a gridwork of streets and the tops o( little bald ho~ne 1 e\l' But some message, some brief scrawl fr~m Go , a egi e graffito on that invitingly blank and conspICUOUS surface. In DINOSAUR BOO 63 we got the same old pockmarks and smears we'd wn were there all along: a riddled, wrinkled old celestial • e spattered with craters idiotiCally round and arbitrarily disposed.
At the opposite end of the system, but. somewhat kindredly underprivileged, were the almost Canbb~an individuals sweltering out their lazy days on Mercury, WhICh always kept the same side toward the. sun, and. wher? eve~thing this side of silicon melted, makmg machmery tmPOSSlble and architecture unstable.. Now they tell us this is all fancy. louds, IS a baking limbo of eight hundred degrees F~renheit. Though there is still hope that a bit of moss enhvens Mars, the planets have in effect, been given a clean sl~te.
Above the trees, the buildwith a great cool we~:uef ~nd Central. Park South burned o uorescent tints. The city is lovely t 72 FIRST PERSON PLURAL from within the Park after dark; it's a view we don't see often enough. The crowd lingered, smoking. An out-of-town voice behind us insisted, "No, I loved it. " The crowd-perhaps three hundred or more-wandered away, east, west, and south, long lines silhouetted under the lamps heavily caged against vandals. We ourselves went back to the path along the pond, where the ducks were sleeping.