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Three Tributes: 10,713 Pages | by Sapphireblue
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Three Tributes: 10,713 Pages

928 about John Updike. And 9,785 by John Updike. (More, if I could find several apparently-lost volumes. If I lent you an Updike at some point, you've had it too long and I would like it back now please.*)

 

To be able to count the number of pages of Updike that litter my house is possible only because I gave up cigarettes last year, and subsequently too my subscription to the New Yorker, because without smoking-and-reading time on the porch, my magazines were piling up unread. But while it lasted, how wonderful a surprise it always was, no matter how frequent, to flip open a fresh issue and find the name of my favorite author atop a long article somewhere toward the back, and wonder if he were the anonymous writer of a short piece nearer the front.

 

To Dick Cavett, in 1992, Updike remarked: "Now waves of disgust come over me when I see all the books I've written, but I can't make myself stop. I'm like that serial killer out in Chicago years ago who scrawled in the bathroom, 'Will somebody please stop me.'"

 

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Update! on March 25, 2012: I found the missing books! They were in the attic, along with another couple hundred rogue volumes by various authors. They are The Centaur, Marry Me, The Music School, Of the Farm, Roger's Version, S., and Too Far to Go. If I'd been able to find them while I was rounding up Updike for this photo, I'd've had to title it "12,490 Pages." Not counting the fact that I actually had TWO copies of Roger's Version in the attic, somehow. ("12,844 Pages"?)

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Taken on January 28, 2009