Cover image for More matter : essays and criticism
Title:
More matter : essays and criticism
Author:
Updike, John.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxiii, 900 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780375406300
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

John Updike's fiftieth book and fifth collection of assorted prose, most of it first published in The New Yorker , brings together eight years' worth of essays, criticism, addresses, introductions, humorous feuilletons, and -- in a concluding section, "Personal Matters" -- paragraphs on himself and his work. More matter, indeed, in an age which, his introduction states, wants "real stuff -- the dirt, the poop, the nitty gritty -- and not . . . the obliquities and tenuosities of fiction."

Still, the fiction writer's affectionate, shaping hand can be detected in many of these considerations. Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, Dawn Powell, Henry Green, John Cheever, Vladimir Nabokov, and W. M. Spackman are among the authors extensively treated, along with such more general literary matters as the nature of evil, the philosophical content of novels, and the wreck of the Titanic. Biographies of Isaac Newton and Queen Elizabeth II, Abraham Lincoln and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Benchley and Helen Keller, are reviewed, always with a lively empathy. Two especially scholarly disquisitions array twentieth-century writing about New York City and sketch the ancient linkage between religion and literature. An illustrated section contains sharp-eyed impressions of movies, photographs, and art. Even the slightest of these pieces can twinkle.

Updike is a writer for whom print is a mode of happiness: he says of his younger self, "The magazine rack at the corner drugstore beguiled me with its tough gloss," and goes on to claim, "An invitation into print, from however suspect a source, is an opportunity to make something beautiful, to discover within oneself a treasure that would otherwise have remained buried."


Author Notes

American novelist, poet, and critic John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1932. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University, which he attended on a scholarship, in 1954. After graduation, he accepted a one-year fellowship to study painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. After returning from England in 1955, he worked for two years on the staff of The New Yorker. This marked the beginning of a long relationship with the magazine, during which he has contributed numerous short stories, poems, and book reviews.

Although Updike's first published book was a collection of verse, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures (1958), his renown as a writer is based on his fiction, beginning with The Poorhouse Fair (1959). During his lifetime, he wrote more than 50 books and primarily focused on middle-class America and their major concerns---marriage, divorce, religion, materialism, and sex. Among his best-known works are the Rabbit tetrology---Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), and Rabbit at Rest (1988). Rabbit, Run introduces Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom as a 26-year-old salesman of dime-store gadgets trapped in an unhappy marriage in a dismal Pennsylvania town, looking back wistfully on his days as a high school basketball star. Rabbit Redux takes up the story 10 years later, and Rabbit's relationship with representative figures of the 1960s enables Updike to provide social commentary in a story marked by mellow wisdom and compassion in spite of some shocking jolts. In Rabbit Is Rich, Harry is comfortably middle-aged and complacent, and much of the book seems to satirize the country-club set and the swinging sexual/social life of Rabbit and his friends. Finally, in Rabbit at Rest, Harry arrives at the age where he must confront his mortality. Updike won the Pulitzer Prize for both Rabbit Is Rich and Rabbit at Rest.

Updike's other novels range widely in subject and locale, from The Poorhouse Fair, about a home for the aged that seems to be a microcosm for society as a whole, through The Court (1978), about a revolution in Africa, to The Witches of Eastwick (1984), in which Updike tries to write from inside the sensibilities of three witches in contemporary New England. The Centaur (1963) is a subtle, complicated allegorical novel that won Updike the National Book Award in 1964. In addition to his novels, Updike also has written short stories, poems, critical essays, and reviews. Self-Consciousness (1989) is a memoir of his early life, his thoughts on issues such as the Vietnam War, and his attitude toward religion. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. He died of lung cancer on January 27, 2009 at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography) John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. Since 1957 he has lived in Massachusetts. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, & the Howells Medal.

(Publisher Provided) John Updike was born in 1932 and attended Harvard College and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. Form 1955 to 1957 he was a staff member of The New Yorker, which he contributed numerous writings. Updike's art criticism has appeared in publications including Arts and Antiques, The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, and Realites, among many others. He is the author of such best-selling novels as Rabbit Run and Rabbit is Rich. His many works of fiction, poetry and criticism have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. For the past 40 years he has lived in Massachusetts.

(Publisher Provided) John Updike is the author of some 50 books, including collections of short stories, poems, & criticism. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, & the Howells Medal. Born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932, he has lived in Massachusetts since 1957.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Updike's fiftieth book! Is he unwisely prolific? It can be argued that every second or third novel of his is substandard. But let that issue rest for a while and pick up his latest book, his fifth collection of critical essays and other nonfiction pieces. Substandard compared to his previous books of essays? Hardly. This one proves that Updike's intelligence lacks restrictive bounds; it is the perfect showcase for his wondrous eloquence. His curiosity ranges widely, from books and writing to the world of the cinema, and then onto even vaster planes, where he muses on the many intellectual and sensory experiences awaiting anyone with receptivity to quality. He is truly and meaningfully at home in an incredible number of areas of knowledge. His thoughts on the work of Edith Wharton stand as original as his thoughts on the personality and reign of the current queen of England. Updike isn't so much a critic of creativity as a guide to creative ways of viewing things, the difference being the difference between telling and showing. --Brad Hooper


Publisher's Weekly Review

Many American writers this century have been called brilliant and accomplished, but Updike is the real thing, as this huge collection of personal essays, social commentary, book reviews, introductions, interviews and occasional pieces amply attests. It is astonishing that a volume of nearly 200 piecesÄmost written for such intellectual venues as the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, but some penned for the mass audiences of Newsweek and USAir MagazineÄrepresents only eight years' work at a time when Updike was producing roughly a novel every two years. But perhaps even more surprising is his range, depth and originality. Segueing freely from the latest biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the nature of evil to cars, cartoons and burglar alarms, these essays are bursting with sentiments and observations that defy ideology or neat categorization. Just when you think Updike is a cultural conservative (he deems young men's haircuts "hostile," mocks Borges and debates the serial comma), he defends Jacques Derrida (against Camille Paglia, no less). Just when you think he is refined and cautious (shaving the metaphysical line between "freedom" and "equality"), he turns irreverent (referring to Helen Keller jokes and "God in a lilac shortie nightgown" on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). Some pieces are prophetic, such as his comments in 1996 on our fascination with the Titanic disaster. Unlike most journalism, Updike's occasional writing is so exquisite as to repay multiple readings. And not least among the many virtues of this book, the 50th of his career, is its sheer fact of convenient assembly. BOMC alternate selection. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In his 50th book, Updike gathers eight years' worth of occasional pieces, book reviews, awards speeches, autobiographical ruminations, and cultural criticism. He plies his well-honed literary craftsmanship on subjects ranging from the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard and the quasi-American rodent Mickey Mouse to photography, cartooning, and his favorite author, Henry Green. In an essay on old movie houses, for example, Updike remarks that although television's flood of sitcoms may not be much "crasser or more mechanical than the run of old-fashioned Hollywood fare," the motion picture "for Americans was our native opera, bastard and sublime." His astonishing introduction to The Complete Shorter Fiction of Herman Melville offers such a complete and evenhanded portrait of Melville's life and work that he reminds us what literary criticism used to be like in the hands of masters. Updike's wide-ranging literary sensibility, breathtaking cultural breadth, elegant prose, incisive wit, and gracious style far outstrip the works of his contemporaries like Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth, and this collection makes it clearer than ever that Updike is our preeminent man of letters. An essential purchase. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/99.]ÄHenry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

"More matter, with less art," Queen Gertrude advises Polonius; she sounds like a modern magazine editor. The appetite in the print trade is presently for real stuff -- the dirt, the poop, the nitty-gritty -- and not for the obliquities and tenuosities of fiction. A writer is almost never asked to write a story, let alone a poem; instead he or she is invited to pen introductions, reviews, and personal essays, preferably indiscreet. (Pen them, then fax them. Instant modemed communication and rapidly overlapping semes are à la mode.) Human curiosity, the abettor and stimulant of the fiction surge between Robinson Crusoe's adventures and Constance Chatterley's, has become ever more literal-minded and impatient with the proxies of the imagination. Present taste runs to the down-home divulgences of the talk show -- psychotherapeutic confession turned into public circus -- and to investigative journalism that, like so many heat-seeking missiles, seeks out the intimate truths, the very genitalia, of Presidents and princesses. It is as if, here at the end of a millennium, time is too precious to waste on anything but such central, perennially urgent data. And so it has come to pass that, in the 1990s, as I turned sixty and then reached sixty-two (senior discount at the movies!) and then passed retirement age, instead of devoting myself wholly to the elaboration of a few final theorems and dreams couched in the gauzy genres of make-believe, I have cranked out, in response to many a plausible request, the mass of more or less factual matter, of assorted prose, which Knopf has herewith heroically, indulgently printed and bound, my fifth such collection and -- dare we hope? -- my last. In this terminal decade the editor of my favorite magazine, The New Yorker , became Tina Brown. It has been my bewildering professional experience to see the editors of that revered journal go from being much older, wiser heads, gray and authoritative, with a shamanistic mystique, to being all -- with the friendly exception of Roger Angell -- much younger than I, young enough in most cases to be my sons and daughters, with an adult child's willful and mysterious fondness for loud music, late nights, unheard-of celebrities, and electronic innovation. However, Ms. Brown's demeanor toward me, during her tenure, was engagingly benign, and I tried, albeit somewhat arthritically, to dance to her tune -- contributing, for instance, to the back-page "Shouts and Murmurs" which she revived from the days of Alexander Woollcott, and answering her call to write about Lana Turner and Gene Kelly, whose videos I was nostalgically happy to view. The magazine's books department passed, through a flurry of interim managers, from the relaxed custody of the late, gravel-voiced Edith Oliver to the more scholastic, tremulously sensitive care of Henry Finder. The kind of books, mostly fiction from Europe and other exotic realms, that I used to be assigned for review yielded to meatier fare, like biographies of such imposing figures as Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth II, and (my last assignment before Ms. Brown's abrupt departure for even greener pastures) Helen Keller. These august subjects subtended areas of knowledge shadowy to me, but the late William Shawn -- whose blessed memory has itself recently undergone some biographical elaboration -- made it a principle not to assign books to specialists in the field, so I was already habituated, as a reviewer, to being at sea and steering by starlight. Also, on their own intellectual initiative, the new editors composed, in the hope that I might become a Critic at Large, a few bouquets of related titles for me to admire and address; in this volume's section "Medleys," the first two conjunctions were my idea, and the next two theirs. Presciently, they had me tackle the Titanic a year before the movie swept all before it. Another ambitious assignment, on Edith Wharton and her cinematic spinoffs, took me uneasily into territory already thoroughly patrolled by Anthony Lane. He and I bumped heads in the dark of a midtown screening room and I beat a quick retreat. Though The New Yorker has always been scrupulously, tirelessly edited, requests to write to a certain specified length and on a certain timely topic much less obtruded upon a writer's consciousness in the days when William Shawn sustained the editorial illusion of a full and ghostly freedom. Reviews were allowed to run until the reviewer felt depleted; now one aims at a shorter length of nine hundred words or a much longer of around three thousand. Snappy or expansive, take your pick. My reviewing habit, hard to break, was to quote extensively; just as the impossibly ideal map would be the same size as the territory mapped, the ideal review would quote the book in its entirety, without comment. In a strange way, the passing of the Cold War has made it harder to frame a literary opinion; the polarities of right versus left and red versus free lent a tension to aesthetic questions miles removed from the Manichaean global struggle. Fiction from the Communist world was inevitably considered from a political angle, but that of Europe and the Americas also crackled with miniature versions of the global clash, the debate, carried on country by country, between Marx and Adam Smith on how one should live. Economic realities, in the form of declining ad revenues, had at last overtaken The New Yorker , which for so long seemed exempt from the crasser considerations. Her model for renovation, Tina Brown let it be known, was the magazine edited by Harold Ross -- a peppier, saucier, and succincter publication that proclaimed itself not for the old lady from Dubuque. The old lady from Dubuque had become, over the years, one of the faithful subscribers, and then she got doddery. That a doddery contributor like myself might still have a part to play in the redesigned, more sharply angled pages was a comforting thought. I fell in love with the magazine as a child, from what seemed an immense distance. Appearing under the same Rea Irvin-designed title-type and department logos as White and Thurber and Cheever and those magical cartoons was for me a dream come true. It still is. Let's face it, gentle reader: I set out to be a magazine writer, a wordsmith as the profession was understood in the industrial first half of the century, and I like seeing my name in what they used to call "hard type." The magazine rack at the corner drugstore beguiled me with its tough gloss. The academization and etherealization and latterly the devaluing deconstruction of the writer's trade in the second half of the century have taken me by surprise, though my Harvard education should have prepared me. Journalism has not only its social stimulations but its aesthetic virtues. An invitation into print, from however suspect a source, is an opportunity to make something beautiful, to discover within oneself a treasure that would otherwise have remained buried. When the call comes from beyond one's own language -- from a German, French, Brazilian, or Japanese publication -- the opportunity is to go back to basics, to write of one's own cultural context more bluntly than would be seemly at home, and to phrase an English that, in regard to the finished product, forms a preliminary stage. My two contributions to the Lufthansa Bordbuch (an elegant publication recently trimmed down) appeared in English and German both; otherwise, I explained the cold to Brazilians, my short stories to the Japanese, and my poems to the French with an agreeable sensation of hiding behind a foreign language, as when in my escapades as a cultural ambassador I spoke through a bilingual intermediary. Introducing works by other authors, especially those secure in the lists of immortality, offers the pleasure of another, pedagogic impersonation; the introductions to certain works of Melville, Wharton, and Henry Green gave me the quiet joys of a scholar as he adds his careful modicum to an extensive bibliography. The lecture on New York writing exploited the anthologies of others and marks another occasion when the rustle of mock-professorial robes cosseted my ears. "Religion and Literature" was actually a chapter in a textbook, The Religion Factor, published by a Presbyterian press; I took it upon myself, perhaps wickedly, to remind the presumed students of divinity that a once-healthy religion existed outside the Judaeo-Christian belief system and died, as it were, in literature's embrace. The itch to inform is perhaps as pernicious a goad to utterance as the itch to charm. The invitations to inform or charm that come my way are limited by the meagre number of my areas of supposed expertise. Of golf I have had my say in Golf Dreams, though a foreword late to tee off offered itself for inclusion in More Matter. Suburban interrelations creep into discussions of dancing, suntanning, and the Fifties. Among living American authors, I take, it may be, an anomalously positive or at least hopeful view of our Republic's progress; hence I am occasionally trusted by the powers that be to expound on matters of state, as the reader can see in the first section. On the strength of my early cartooning ambitions, my single year at an English art school, and my willingness to feel happy in museums, Art and Antiques, The New Republic, and The New York Review of Books have over the years let me write on art and exhibits. One book, Just Looking, has already been made of such articles; this present volume holds, in addition to commentary on movies and photographs, those art reviews which did not, it seemed to me, require color illustration, or illustration at all. As in my other eight-years' gatherings, Picked-Up Pieces, Hugging the Shore, and Odd Jobs, the last section rounds up snippets, some a mere paragraph, pertaining to me and my works. My excuses for this methodical narcissism are that all authorial activity is egoistic anyway and that close students of my work -- there are a few -- will be interested. In truth, so impenetrably loom the paper mountains of a diligent oeuvre, that interviewers rarely seem aware of my faithful deposits of opinion and autobiography. Again and again I am asked questions already patiently answered in print. Never mind; predator satiation being one of nature's survival techniques, I answer them again, and thus add a bit more superfluous self-description to what we might laughingly call "the record." Some repetition is inevitable, as part of the satiation. The inventory of my rather paltry childhood reading keeps coming round, and I fear the same Henry James quotation is invoked three times; in each case it seemed indispensable, and too choice to paraphrase. A child begins to play at art in the faith that there is a treasure house where the most accomplished work is stored, to last forever, forever consulted. Intimations of the definitive tinged my creative excitement at its outset, around and under our family dining-room table, with its Tiffany lampshade of many glowing colors. There is a bliss in making sets of things, and in bringing something imperfect closer to perfection -- firmly inking in a sketchy drawing, adding a few more verbal enhancements to a final proof. Or, in a review, listing, say, the exotic words in Norman Rush's Mating and the savored meals in Ardashir Vakil's Beach Boy. The assembly and arrangement of a book like More Matter offers such satisfactions -- the tactile thrill of the fixed, the interlocking -- but any illusion of "permanent form" struggles against the realizations, come upon me late in life, that paper decays, that readership dwindles, that a book is a kind of newspaper, that the most polished composition loses edge to the flow of language and cultural context, that no masterpiece will outlast the human race, that the race is but an incident in the fauna of our planet, that our planet is doomed to die in a hiccup of the sun, that the sun will eventually implode and explode, and that the universe itself is a transitory scribble on the surface, so oddly breached fifteen billion years ago, of nothingness. Wow! Zap! Nevertheless, the living must live, a writer must write. Enough said. So bulky a book warrants a brief preface. Excerpted from More Matter: Essays and Criticism by John Updike All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Edith WhartonGraham TarrantAl CappJill KrementzMary Steichen Calderone and Edward SteichenWilliam Shawn and William Maxwell and Brendan Gill
Prefacep. xix
Large Matters
Matters of State
Freedom and Equality: Two American Bluebirdsp. 3
The State of the Union, as of March 1992p. 16
Letter to a Baby Boomerp. 22
The Fiftiesp. 25
Gender and Health
The Disposable Rocketp. 30
Women Dancingp. 33
Get Thee Behind Me, Suntanp. 37
Vp. 41
Lustp. 42
The Song of Solomonp. 46
Literature
Religion and Literaturep. 50
Fiction: A Dialoguep. 63
Print: A Dialoguep. 65
A Different Endingp. 70
The Burglar Alarmp. 72
The Glittering Cityp. 79
Geographical, Calendrical, Topical
On the Edgep. 97
People Wrapped to Gop. 100
One Big Baublep. 102
The Twelve Terrors of Christmasp. 106
That Syncing Feelingp. 107
Paranoid Packagingp. 109
Hostile Haircutsp. 111
Glad Ragsp. 113
Addressing the Scandal Glutp. 114
Manifestop. 116
Car Talkp. 118
The Gentlemen of Summerp. 120
Bodies Beautifulp. 121
Golf in the Land of the Freep. 123
The Vineyard Rememberedp. 128
The Sun the Other Way Aroundp. 130
The Coldp. 133
Matter under Review
Introductions
To "The Seducer's Diary," a chapter of Either/Orp. 139
To The Complete Shorter Fiction of Herman Melvillep. 144
To The Age of Innocencep. 165
To Surviving: The Uncollected Writings of Henry Greenp. 170
To The Best American Short Stories 1984p. 178
To Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviewsp. 187
To Writers on Writersp. 194
To Heroes and Anti-Heroesp. 196
To The Art of Mickey Mousep. 202
To My Well-Balanced Life on a Wooden Legp. 210
American Past Masters
Reworking Whartonp. 214
The Key-Peoplep. 231
Laughter from the Yokelsp. 242
Stevens as Dutchmanp. 250
Wilson as Cape Codderp. 252
The Critic in Winterp. 253
An Ohio Runawayp. 260
Happiness, How Sadp. 268
Cheever on the Rocksp. 279
Sirin's Sixty-Five Shimmering Short Storiesp. 287
North American Contemporaries
Recruiting Raw Nervesp. 291
Doctorpoep. 299
Excellent Humbugp. 299
The Good Book as Cookbookp. 305
Him and Who?p. 311
Mayhem at the Hospitalp. 312
Tummy Trouble in Tinseltownp. 314
Soap and Death in Americap. 317
Awriiiighhhhhhhht!p. 320
Stones into Breadp. 325
Barney Looks Backp. 331
People Fitsp. 334
Overseas
Mandarinsp. 338
Proust Died for Youp. 344
Camus Made Newp. 346
Omniumgatherump. 347
Man Is an Islandp. 348
Muriel Goes to the Moviesp. 352
God Save Ingushetiap. 355
"Live" Spelled Backwardsp. 358
On the Edge of the Post-Humanp. 363
Nightmares and Daymaresp. 365
Undelivered Remarks upon Awarding the 1992 GPA Book Award in Dublinp. 366
Idle Thoughts of a Toiling Tilerp. 370
Dark Walkerp. 371
Angels in Hollandp. 371
Vagueness on Wheels, Dust on a Skirtp. 374
Life Was Elsewherep. 380
Of Sickened Timesp. 386
Gender Bendersp. 394
Other Continents
A Woman's Continentp. 397
A Heavy Worldp. 405
Between Montparnasse and Mt. Peleep. 409
Nobody Gets Away with Everythingp. 411
Shadows and Gardensp. 415
Mountain Miseriesp. 420
Two Anglo-Indian Novelsp. 425
A Note on Narayanp. 432
Medleys
Glasnost, Honne, and Conquistadoresp. 434
Posthumous Outputp. 442
Novel Thoughtsp. 453
Elusive Evilp. 464
Biographies
The Properties of Thingsp. 481
Such a Sucker as Mep. 489
Man of Secretsp. 499
Not Quite Adultp. 509
Large for Her Yearsp. 516
Cubism's Marketeerp. 524
Smiling Bobp. 530
This Side of Coherencep. 538
The Man Withinp. 552
Shirley Temple Reginap. 561
Things as They are
An Undeciphered Residuep. 571
At the Hairy Edge of the Possiblep. 578
Things, Thingsp. 586
Box Me, Daddy, Eight to the Bar Codep. 591
The Flamingo-Pink Decadep. 595
The Liberation of the Legsp. 598
She's Got Personalityp. 603
Among Caninesp. 610
Fine Pointsp. 611
Oh, It Was Sadp. 621
2000, Here We Comep. 632
Visible Matter
Movies
The Old Movie Housesp. 641
Samson and Delilah and Mep. 644
Legendary Lanap. 645
M.M. in Briefp. 656
The Vargas Girlp. 658
Genial, Kinetic Gene Kellyp. 660
Photos
The Domestic Camerap. 667
A Bookish Boyp. 671
An Ecstatic Statep. 674
A Woman's Burdenp. 676
Descent of an Imagep. 677
Introduction to The Writer's Deskp. 681
Introduction to The First Picture Book--Everyday Things for Babiesp. 684
Facing Deathp. 692
Nadar's Swift Tactp. 696
Art
Fast Artp. 703
The Revealed and the Concealedp. 708
Fun Furniturep. 716
Acts of Seeingp. 721
Big, Bright, and Bendayedp. 725
A Case of Monumentalityp. 731
Verminous Pedestrians and Car-Tormented Streetsp. 733
Funny Facesp. 740
The Sistine Chapel Ceilingp. 749
The Frickp. 750
Personal Matters
Updike and Ip. 757
Me and My Booksp. 758
The Short Story and Ip. 762
Introduction to Self-Selected Storiesp. 767
Foreword to Love Factoriesp. 770
Foreword to "Brother Grasshopper"p. 773
Note on "A Sandstone Farmhouse"p. 774
Note on "Playing with Dynamite"p. 775
Foreword to "The Women Who Got Away"p. 776
Note on "My Father on the Verge of Disgrace"p. 776
Karl Shapirop. 776
Three New Yorker Stalwartsp. 779
Note for an Exhibit of New Yorker Cartoonsp. 787
My Cartooningp. 787
Cartoon Magicp. 790
Christmas Cardsp. 797
A Childhood Transgressionp. 799
Remembering Pearl Harborp. 801
Reflections on Radiop. 803
Remembering Reading, Pa.p. 804
An Hour of the Dayp. 805
Home in New Englandp. 805
Introduction to Concerts at Castle Hillp. 807
Accepting the Bobst Awardp. 810
Foreword to John Updike: A Bibliographyp. 811
Accepting the National Book Critics Circle Awardp. 813
Accepting the Howells Medalp. 815
Introduction to the Easton Press Edition of the Rabbit Novelsp. 816
Henry Bech Interviews Updikep. 821
"Special Message" for the Franklin Library Edition of Memories of the Ford Administrationp. 825
"Special Message" for the Franklin Library Edition of Brazilp. 827
"Special Message" for the Franklin Library Edition of In the Beauty of the Liliesp. 830
"Special Message" for the Franklin Library Edition of Toward the End of Timep. 832
Two Belated "Talk of the Town" Stories ("TV in NYC," "Amazon.com")p. 834
Foreword to the French translation of Facing Naturep. 838
Humor These Daysp. 840
An Answer to a Usual Questionp. 841
Books That Changed My Lifep. 842
Five Remembered Moments of Reading Blissp. 843
Remembering Reading Don Quixotep. 844
The Ten Greatest Works of Literature, 1001-2000p. 846
Accepting the Campion Medalp. 850
Remarks on Religion and Contemporary Literaturep. 848
Accepting the National Book Foundation Medalp. 853
Indexp. 857