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R.I.P. John Updike


John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and poet, died today of cancer. Please share any Updike reading recommendations in the comments for those of us who aren't as familiar with his oeuvre as we'd like.In the meantime, here's a pretty touching poem of his on the subject of death, below."Perfection Wasted"And another regrettable thing about deathis the ceasing of your own brand of magic,which took a whole life to develop and market-the quips, the witticisms, the slantadjusted to a few, those loved ones nearestthe lip of the stage, their soft faces blanchedin the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,their response and your performance twinned.The jokes over the phone. The memories packedin the rapid-access file. The whole act.Who will do it again? That's it: no one;imitators and descendants aren't the same.-John UpdikeComposed 1/24/90Collected Poems 1953-1993 (Knopf, 1993, p. 231)

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