Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Great Regulars: Yet making his alter ego a Jew, [John] Updike--

who was, theologically and sociologically, one of the great novelists of Protestant America--also puts the Bech books in heavily ironic quotes. For Updike the arch-WASP to become Bech the Jew is a stunt, a knowing joke, before it is a confession or even the creation of a character. More, it is an opportunity for Updike to explore the same uneasy mixture of emotions that Ozick hinted at in "Levitation": the fascination and alienation of a Gentile writer in a literary milieu dominated by Jews.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: John Updike the Jew


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