(a favorite writer of mine, and a particularly good blogger to boot) hates John Updike (I can't figure out how to link just to that entry, so I've pasted the whole thing in below):
This is just one of many reasons, actually, but it's a dilly.
I've been reading a bunch of 'literary' magazines, trying to figure out where I might send the stories I've been writing that don't contain elements of horror or mystery or any other damn thing I can identify -- they're just stories about people. And, to be honest, I'm really not enjoying these magazines very much or feeling very excited at the prospect of publishing anything in them, assuming they would even have my popular-fiction-writing self. And I'm innocently flipping through one, and suddenly I come upon the first stanza of 'An Ode to My Hurting Left Hand':
Why has arthritis, a disease of wear
attacked you, when the right, your counterpart,
has done the work? Oh yes -- I guess in golf
you gripped the club the tighter, and at night.
to love myself to sleep, I bade you grip
my stiffened nether member while I dreamed
of copulation with an unsteadily
imagined lady, whose obliging charms
opened the path, perhaps, to drowsy calm.
Mr. Updike, I'm sorry you have arthritis. I truly am. Both my grandmothers suffered from it, I suspect I have a touch myself, and I know it is no picnic. Sometimes it's torture. In spite of everything, I wouldn't have wished it on you.
BUT WHY, O WHY, O WHY, O WHY, O WHY do we have to hear about your STIFFENED NETHER MEMBER?
I mean, I once had the misfortune to read a never-produced screenplay that contained the phrase 'tidal wave of daddy-acid,' and I thought, nay, hoped that was the worst sequence of words I would come across in my lifetime. But I really think 'stiffened nether member' might trump it.
And, while I'm at it, I'm really not all that interested in how you held your damn golf club either.
If you haven't read Liquor and Prime, Brite's absolutely delightful pair of New Orleans crime novels featuring chef John Rickey and his boyfriend G-Man, you should remedy the situation as soon as possible; and the latest installment (titled Soul Kitchen) is due out later this month.