McEwan Remembers Updike

John Updike was a quintessentially American author, but readers should note some of the better tributes have come from across the pond. “This most Lutheran of writers, driven by intellectual curiosity all his life, was troubled by science as others are troubled by God,” Ian McEwan writes in The Guardian. “When it suited him, he could easily absorb and be impressed by physics, biology, astronomy, but he was constitutionally unable to ‘make the leap of unfaith.’ The ‘weight’ of personal death did not allow it, and much seriousness and dark humour derives from this tension between intellectual reach and metaphysical dread.” And writing for Granta, Irishman Joseph O’Neill says that Updike’s work was founded on “a humble, stubborn refusal to accept the inadequacy of a human’s powers of apprehension and actualization.”