Updike Discusses Modernity, Terrorism and Sex

It’s not just Hitchens who’s talking about modernity, terrorism and fellatios these days. In Nerve.com, an interview with John Updike on the same.

Updike’s latest novel, Terrorist, continues his habit of writing from a controversial perspective — in this case, an angry young Muslim named Ahmad whose imam in New Jersey has commissioned him to bomb the Lincoln Tunnel. The ire that Terrorist has drawn is similar to some of the complaints about his previous books, except that today, everyone — not just professional critics — has a platform on the internet. “Updike’s latest is nothing more than a self-hating American on his knees,” commented one reader on Amazon.com. “You sense that Updike hates the modern world, despite having contributed to its supposed malaise with his own envelope-pushing sexual novels . . . “

Now seventy-four, Updike spoke to Nerve about this perceived discomfort with modernity, and offered his views on marriage, AIDS and genital worship.