John Updike (1932-2009)

Perfection Wasted And another regrettable thing about death is the ceasing of your own brand of magic, which took a whole life to develop and market — the quips, the witticisms, the slant adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears, their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat, their response and your performance twinned. The jokes over the phone. The memories packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act. Who will do it again? That's it: no one; imitators and descendants aren't the same. – John Updike, 1990

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