John Updike’s Transparent Eyeball

John Updike’s Transparent Eyeball

SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS: MEMOIRS BY JOHN UPDIKE. New York: Knopf, 1989. 257 pp. $18.95.

A chapter from John Updike’s Self Consciousness ran some months ago in Commentary under the provocative title, “On Not Being a Dove.” Updike looked back at the loneliness that overtook him during the high tide of antiwar indignation in the sixties and seventies, when he, one man against the mob, remained a supporter of American policy in Vietnam. He recalled inanities of the antiwar movement. He savored a Weather Underground vow to oppose “everything that is good and decent in honky America”; and having in that manner given the left and the peaceniks their say, he took out his trunk of still-beloved prowar arguments and unfolded each aging but intact debater’s point and held it up for admiration.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima