Я знаю, что не для всех Апдайк велик, но для любителей - an early jem - первый рассказ, который он предложил "Нью- Йоркеру" (и был отвергнут): http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/generalfiction/story/0,6000,1119688,00.html
На этом же сайте - его статья-комментарий в связи с выходом сборника ранних рассказов. Чтобы разжечь аппетит, приведу пару цитат:
Rereading everything in 2002, I was startled by the peaceful hopes attached to Iraq in "His Finest Hour", amazed by the absurdly low prices of things in 1950s and 60s dollars, and annoyed by the recurrence of the now suspect word "Negro". But I did not change it to "black"; fiction is entitled to the language of its time. And verbal correctness in this arena is so particularly volatile that "black", which is inaccurate, may some day be suspect in turn. "Negro" at least is an anthropological term, unlike the phrase "of colour", which reminds me that in my childhood the word "darkie" was, in the mouths of middle-aged ladies, the ultimate in polite verbal discrimination. As to the word "fairies", used twice in one story to refer to gay men, I doubt that it was ever not offensive to those so designated, but it was much used, with its tinge of contempt, by heterosexuals of both genders, and after pondering, pencil in hand, for some pained minutes, I let it remain, as natural to the consciousness of the straight, distraught male who is my protagonist. After all, the New Yorker's fastidious editors let it slip by, into the issue of April 3, 1965.
We were repressed enough to be pleased by the relaxation of the old sexual morality, without suffering much of the surfeit, anomie and venereal disease of younger generations. We were simple and hopeful enough to launch into idealistic careers and early marriages, and pragmatic enough to adjust, with an American shrug, to the ebb of old certainties. Yet, though spared many of the material deprivations and religious terrors that had dogged our parents, and awash in a disproportionate share of the world's resources, we continued prey to what Freud called "normal human unhappiness".
But when has happiness ever been the subject of fiction? The pursuit of it is just that - a pursuit. Death and its adjutants tax each transaction. What is possessed is devalued by what is coveted. Discontent, conflict, waste, sorrow, fear - these are the worthy, inevitable subjects. Yet our hearts expect happiness, as an underlying norm, "the fountain-light of all our day" in Wordsworth's words.
Rereading, I found no lack of joy in these stories, though it arrives by the moment and not by the month, and no lack of affection and goodwill among characters caught in the human plight, the plight of limitation and mortality. Art hopes to sidestep mortality with feats of attention, of harmony, of illuminating connection, while enjoying, it might be said, at best a slower kind of mortality: paper yellows, language becomes old-fashioned, revelatory human news passes into general social wisdom.