sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mary Karr disses Updike and the Sinclairs:

".... I'm always astonished by the devotion to Updike. I think it's just from seeing his name in the New Yorker so relentlessly. I mean, no writer I know really values those books except the first one, "Rabbit Run," which I think is terrific. After that it became dilution. He certainly does make immaculate sentences, but so did Upton Sinclair and Sinclair Lewis, two mediocre novelists who are not a patch on Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Ralph Ellison."

The N&O's J. Peder Zane defends Lewis:

"Lewis may not inspire many contemporary writers or provide lecture material for college professors, but people still read 'Babbitt,' 'Elmer Gantry,' 'Main Street,' 'It Can't Happen Here' and so many other of Lewis' gems because they tell great stories about historic periods."

But how many novels since "Babbitt" have presented a main character disillusioned with modern life? The times change and the professions change, but the theme is the same: No matter what we've got, we're never happy.


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