He writes so well that I wish he could attract my interest. I like his prose, and disagree with Mailer, who thinks it bad.... With me the problem is that he doesn't write about anything that interests me. I am not concerned with middle-class suburban couples. On the other hand, I'm not concerned with adultery in the French provinces either. Yet Flaubert commands my attention. I don't know why Updike doesn't. Perhaps my fault.
Friday, December 05, 2008
From Jonathan Raban's NYRB essay (subscriber only) on Jay Parini's Selected Essays of Gore Vidal, some words of Vidal's concerning John Updike from a 1974 interview in the Paris Review: