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Here I will confess my pointy-headedness. I’ve been a reader/subscriber to the NY Review of Books since college. You don’t want to know how long ago that was. One of the things I like about it is the writing about art exhibits and art books. I particularly like John Updike’s reviews which seem to show up more and more of late. Not only is he a fresh, non-pointy-headed reviewer (no footnotes, no art-speak) but he’s often a nay sayer. Like in the recent piece he wrote on the El Greco show at the Met. Of course he’s a highly Protestant guy and the show’s a highly Catholic show and he deals with all that in his review. But being a great writer, he also gives you the juicy anecdotes that make the piece grow beyond just a review. (For another, also fresh, take on El Greco, see Libby’s post of Oct. 22.)

You can read the mag online. For any Bush-haters and you know who you are I also recommend the Paul Krugman article in this month’s issue.

I saw Updike recently at the Free Library. He read from his new book of collected stories and talked about his life. I always wondered how he got interested in writing about art. Turns out he was a gifted child artist always drawing up a storm. He has some formal training as an artist having taken classes when he was younger. But mostly, he’s a visual guy and his response to the world is that of a visual artist.

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features & interviews, reviews

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