Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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John Updike and American art

John Updike gave the 37th Jefferson Lecture last night, to read it click on "lecture," and to listen to the very good interview with NEH Chairman Bruce Cole click on "Interview." Note that the whole thing is wrapped up around the question of what is American about American art, and the new NEH project "Picturing America," also found on the site.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I heard his talk last night, and one thing to note is his contention that John Singleton Copley was the George Washington of American art. I don't know whether he is right, but see his portrait of Mercy Warren. Updike, himself an artist of some skill, made a thoughtful case for understanding America through its artists, who (here referring to Jackson Pollock) create "the mystic space between concept and thing."

Has anyone read his last novel, Terrorist?

Ken: I have not read Terrorist, but I have been reading into Philip Freeman's Julius Caesar and discovered (or was reminded of, depending on what day it is) that Julius Caesar whispered this, in Greek, into Brutus' ear as he went down: Kai su, teknon (Even you, my child).

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