Higher gossip : essays and criticism

2011/11/10 · HIGHER GOSSIP Essays and Criticism By John Updike

“Higher Gossip” is also filled out with disposable scraps of writing: a cursory, faintly patronizing one-paragraph-long tribute to F. Scott Fitzgerald; some lesser stories; and even a comment about baseball players made for a coffee table book. Such pieces attest to Updike’s obsession with turning every thought into words, every observation into prose: a testament to his love of writing, but also to his apparent drive to preserve everything, notable or not, in print.

Also included are two decades of art criticism--on Chardin, El Greco, Blake, Turner, Van Gogh, Max Ernest, and more.

Updike's criticism is gossip of the highest order, delivered in an intimate and generous voice.

Higher Gossip, edited by Christopher Carduff, is a posthumous selection of John Updike's prodigious output, matching six substantial previous volumes mainly of critical or personal prose. The set amounts to seven pillars, if not of wisdom then something not far off, of warm scrupulous attentiveness. To salute Updike's professionalism, though, is to insult something more important, as he pointed out when accepting an award for a previous selection () in 1984: "to be professional is to be dependable, to be dependable is to be predictable, and predictability is aesthetically boring – an anti-virtue where we hope to be astonished and startled and at some deep level refreshed."

Essays and Criticism

It’s extraordinary not just that Updike established himself as one of the pre-eminent critics of his day, but also that he did so while moonlighting from his vocation as a novelist. In fact, as this latest collection of essays reminds us, Updike was that rare creature: an all-around man of letters, a literary decathlete who brought to his criticism an insider’s understanding of craft and technique; a first-class appreciator of talent, capable of describing other artists’ work with nimble, pictorial brilliance; an ebullient observer, who could bring to essays about dinosaurs or golf or even the theory of relativity a contagious, boyish sense of wonder.

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The story, about an actor who can't escape from the spell he casts on others, is unusual for Updike in the negativism of its sexual psychology. The hero, Francis, has dealings with both sexes and feels a certain amount of disgust for each. Leaving one woman, he realises that "in some way, physically, she had always repelled him. There had always been in the texture of her buttocks a faint and disturbing grittiness, like sand on a damp day at the beach, and a panicky sweatiness in the yellow soles of her little high-arched feet." Updike's gaze is never exactly gallant, but it's usually more forgiving than this.

Higher Gossip: Essays and Criticism - The Barnes & …

"Higher Gossip" presents John Updike's last collection of essays, poems and short stories

The blog will roll out a new feature beginning in September. It’s a feature called “Burning Cape” and it is dedicated to women who are experiencing or have experience burnout. The burnout does not necessarily have to be related to the workplace. The feature will highlight the fact that moms get burned out too.

Higher Gossip, Essays and Criticism by John Updike

Mothers Always Write is open to submissions of poetry and essays about motherhood. Send us your poetry (up to 3 poems) and essays (up to 2,000 words) about the motherhood experience. Our fall theme is Listening– Listening to our hearts, our gut, our inner voice, our higher power, our children, our own mothers, our inner critic, expert advice, nay-sayers, gossip, silence, etc. You get the picture. We are open to general submissions as well. Find our submissions guidelines here:


Higher Gossip Essays and Criticism.

About The Critical Pass Review: The Critical Pass Review is a biannual literary review that was founded with the purpose of bringing exemplary works of poetry, fiction, visual artwork, and literary-related journalism to a broader national and international readership. Utilizing a high-grade interactive eBook publishing format, we provide our readers with the exhilaration of reading writing of the first intensity in new and exciting digital contexts. We pride ourselves on bringing exceptional ideas, styles, and artistry to the forefront to create publications that engage both writers and a wider cross section of the reading public.

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We are accepting both fiction (short stories, drama, translations) and creative non-fiction (essay, criticism, memoir) related to culture and its allied arts for our Monsoon issue. Submission closes August 1st.

Higher Gossip Essays and Criticism by John Updike Christopher Carduff eBook

Copper Pen Press is currently seeking submissions of high-quality short fiction for a forthcoming anthology set within the world of a traveling circus, carnival or freak show – Freakshow: Freakishly Fascinating Tales of Mystery and Suspense.

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PAROUSIA Magazine is calling for submissions for The Gospel Issue #5 to be published by April 2017 during the Easter Celebration. This issue welcomes narratives on the Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension unto Glorification of Jesus Christ which as seen from the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is what the gospel is about also it welcomes submissions that are standard for Christian publications.
We are interested in Fiction, Creative Non Fiction, Poetry, Review, Interview, Photography, Painting, Drawing, Graphic and other creative art works.
Submission is open to every writer regardless of age, experience or location.