The story's last sentence, in which the narrator stands back and looks at himself—or Updike stands back and looks at the narrator, or Updike stands back and looks at himself—runs:(Image: David Levine, NY Review)If I can read this strange old guy's mind aright, he's drinking a toast to the visible world, his impending disappearance from it be damned.Impossible not to think of and feel for Updike as he tapped out that sentence and then added his last full stop, his fictional endpoint. Impossible equally not to honor and thank him with a reader's raised glass, full to the brim—though preferably not with water.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Toasting the Dead
In the current New York Review of Books, Julian Barnes writes a sweet encomium to John Updike: