Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This post is about John Updike's clothing, and not much more

With all my extra free time recently I've taken a deep dive into American fiction - ripping through some novels and essays.  I've finished off books at a prodigious clip, and the whole recalibration of my mind feels eerily like the sensation of a tuning fork when hit.

There's been Philipp Meyer's American Rust - which is the story of a depressed Pittsburg area steel town and its inhabitants. Great American authors like Keruoac and Steinbeck are present in Meyer's work.  I've also tackled (and that seems the most apt word to use) the essays of David Foster Wallace and have swam a few laps in the shallow end of his book Infinite Jest (not quite sure if I'm ready to commit to the 1,000+ page project, so just grazing for now). 

As this recalibration is underway, I've been a lot more attuned to the news of American authors, living and deceased.  So naturally when this article appeared in the New York Times this week on John Updike's archive, I paid attention. 

Now, there are a few major American authors I just haven't read - like Pynchon, DeLillo, Roth, Mailer - and Updike is one of them as well. I know a fair amount of his history and loose outline of his books, but I won't add any value parroting it here. 

However, I can bring you some photos of an amazingly well dressed author (reminder: I did the same for Robert Lowell a few months back).  Which begs the question - why is the 'men's style blogosphere' so obsessed with pictures of writers like Ernest Hemingway, and shouldn't they pay a little more attention to John Updike instead?  (Of course, you hope you've introduced someone to one of the Rabbit novels in the process...)

Seriously, Updike in the '60s looks like he just showed up from a modern day Band of Outsiders photoshoot.  Incredible. 


  1. Also, take a look at the way WIlliam Faulkner dressed. He wanted to replicate the style of an English country gentleman.

  2. Great post! Updike's style is fantastically understated and traditional. I also believe his wardrobe should be given more attention. He stuck with this style to the end.

  3. great entry about updike! spot on.