And with him, goes a piece of me. In all honesty, I can't say that Updike's style of writing ever truly won me over. Too spare, too intellectual, too Waspy, too many things that taxed my average intelliegence. But secretly I admired him for speaking a language I could never grasp. Rabbit Run was one of the first novels that I ever read in high school and did not enjoy but was proud to tell all of my friends that I had actually read. Ironically, "Rabbit" Angstrom, with his constant search for truth and peace of mind, has turned out to be a character I appreciate more as I get older.
We live in a day and age where words seem to count for so little. Where numbers are the new words, and all that matter anymore. How old are you? How much do you make? What zip code do you live in? What's your portfolio worth? Will this $825 billion stimulus package do anything more than recapitalize the banks that got us in this mess in the first place? John Updike stood for the integrity of words. Words that soared, and sometimes sunk, but always captured the complexity of human nature. America is infinitely poorer off without him today. I hope it takes a moment to remember.