Friday, December 05, 2008

On writing

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:
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.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, funny; because I feel a similar way about Gore Vidal! ...except that I AM interested in Lincoln, etc. But I must say, Vidal's NYRB essay on Italo Calvino is quite remarkable.