Odd Jobs: Essays And Criticism

Odd Jobs: Essays And Criticism

Odd Jobs: Essays and Criticism

This collection of non-fictional prose, following "Assorted Prose", "Picked-up Pieces" and "Hugging the Shore", looks at subjects as diverse as national monuments, the female body, the Gospel of Mathew and popular music. The book concludes with the authors thoughts on his own work.

From Publishers Weekly
An amazingly prolific man of letters, Updike serves up a feast in this massive compilation of essays, speeches, prefaces, a playlet and dozens of book reviews, the latter of which make up the bulk of the book. In conversational, urbane, witty prose he offers a dizzying smorgasbord of opinions on baseball, pop music, architecture, national monuments, the Gospel of St. Matthew, Ben Franklin, Mozart's music (it "gives us permission to live") and the modern artist as courter of risk and danger. While his portrayal of women as "reasonable and right" non-protesters, a trait he implies is biogenic, smacks of male chauvinism, he is more enlightening in discussing Eros and men's mythologizing of women's bodies. Along with appreciations of Edmund Wilson ("a paragon of intellectual energy and curiosity") and John Cheever, there are travel pieces ranging from Finland to dysfunctional New York City. Whatever the topic, Updike...

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