Several years ago I read every single book John Updike wrote. I fell in love with Memories of the Ford Administration and, the way i remember it, Updike was all I read for the next couple years.
I picked up the book entirely by chance. I was visiting my sister in Iowa City (where she was in school)-A few friends friends came along: Lauren, Mary, Marlese, Carl? Seems like a pretty packed car, but that’s the way I remember it-Or, maybe Mary didn’t come along??
I don’t remember much from that trip-Just that I picked up Memories of the Ford Administration from a used book shop, and that my sister was horrible.
In any case, Memories of the Ford Administration cost me maybe $.99-I remember picking it from the “bargain” shelf at the front of the store. I’m not sure why I picked it up-I assume it was the book’s spine, title, in some measure.
In any case, here I am, so many years later, reading this anthology of Updike’s “essays and criticisms.” I am hoping this format will work well for me-I find that I do not have the interest in fiction that I used to, nor the attention span for many hundreds of pages on just one topic.
That said, don’t short essays and criticism from a favorite novelist sound just right for me?
I’m less than 50 pages in but already recognize the empathetic prose I first recognized in Memories of the Ford Administration.
Experience is so vicarious these days, only reminiscence makes it real.
But in an odd way i realized I wish he would have said something just a little bit different-Something like “Experience is so impermanent these days, only reminiscence makes it real.”
I think about, for instance, the times I have seen Dream Theater over the years (one of my favorite rock bands, dating back to high school)-Always so exciting for me-And realize: I can’t remember definitively which songs I have heard them play. Am I conflating performances I have seen live with recorded performances?
Or, I think: If, I didn’t have pictures of me standing with my friends Matt and Luke with the band, how insubstantial would those experiences be? If I didn’t have “evidence,” which provide me with particular details that seem to substantiate the experiences: the length of my hair at the time, the glasses or hat I wore, etc.
How can I “make more” of the April 30th show I’m anticipating? (“Make more” as in “make the most of.”)
Do I really need evidence?