Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John Updike, RIP

She had on a kind of dirty-pink - - beige maybe, I don't know -- bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down. They were off her shoulders looped loose around the cool tops of her arms, and I guess as a result the suit had slipped a little on her, so all around the top of the cloth there was this shining rim. If it hadn't been there you wouldn't have known there could have been anything whiter than those shoulders. With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light. I mean, it was more than pretty. (from A&P)


Matt said...

Wow. Had I described that same beautiful scene I would have sounded like a filthy Penthouse Letters knock-off that isn't nearly as classy.

Agricola said...

That's why he's Updike, and we're just bloggers. "A&P" might be one of my all time favorite short stories. I read it for the first time when I was like 16 and it's stuck with me forever; that scene, at the beginning of the story esp. Has a guy ever better described three lovelies than this? I think not. This is one of the great paeans to female beauty in all of Western writing. If I may be so bold. Thanks for reading.