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U and I: A True Story download epub

by Nicholson Baker

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Nicholson Baker was born in 1957 and attended the Eastman School of Music and Haverford College. U and I : a true story, Nicholson Baker. 1st Vintage Books ed. p. cm. Originally published in hardcover by Random House, In. New York, in 1991 -T.

Nicholson Baker was born in 1957 and attended the Eastman School of Music and Haverford College. Fold (2001), which won a National Book Critics Circle Award.

U and I: A True Story is a non-fiction book by Nicholson Baker that was published in 1991. The book is a study of how a reader engages with an author's work: partly an appreciation of John Updike, and partly a kind of self-exploration

U and I: A True Story is a non-fiction book by Nicholson Baker that was published in 1991. The book is a study of how a reader engages with an author's work: partly an appreciation of John Updike, and partly a kind of self-exploration. Rather than giving a traditional literary analysis, Baker begins the book by stating that he will read no more Updike than he already has up to that point.

Nicholson Baker is most famous for Vox, the phone-sex novel Monica Lewinsky gave President Clinton, but the vastly superior U and I contains Baker's own dirty little secret: an obsession with John Updike. Not since Salieri in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus has one man's genius so publicly tormented another. Baker's ambition is a naked thing shivering with sensitivity, like a snail bereft of its shell.

Nicholson Baker's novels, The Mezzanine and Room Temperature, have been highly praised for their sparkling originality, deadpan humor, and eccentric style. Now, with U and I, Baker has written the most idiosyncratic and deftly illuminating essay on literary influence in recent memory, as he reveals his preoccupation with the work of John Updike. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

U and I: A True Story. And with this memory of Updike I hesitated; I didn’t type what I was going to type; I shifted course.

Nicholson Baker is the author of ten novels and numerous works of nonfiction, including The Anthologist, The Mezzanine, and Human Smoke. He has won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Hermann Hesse Prize, and a Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Maine with his wife, Margaret Brentano; both his children went to Maine public schools. Bibliographic information. U and I: A True Story Vintage Contemporaries.

Thanks, Nicholson Baker, because now I also have to read those of your books I have not yet read .

valerieandbooksGo to valerieandbooks's profile, opens in a new window. Twenty years ago (in 1991), Nicholson Baker wrote U and I: A True Story, a 179-page memoir about Baker’s obsession with John Updike.

U and I : a true story. by. Baker, Nicholson.

Non-fiction book by Nicholson Baker that was published in April 2001. An excerpt appeared in the July 24, 2000 issue of The New Yorker, under the title "Deadline: The Author's Desperate Bid to Save America's Past. Double Fold is a controversial work and is not meant to be objective.

Baker muses on the creative process via his obsession with John Updike.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Comments: (7)

This book caused me to laugh aloud. It's a new kind of "criticism," doing a piece a about a writer, Updike, without reading very much of his work. Nicholson Baler makes the smallest thing funny.
John Updike -- the supreme stylist of the second half of the twentieth century. U AND I celebrates this.
I enjoyed Baker's MEZZANINE book more but I do appreciate his sharing in U and I typical problems author that authors face like "Have I used this idea before in print?"
That may be true for most books, but it's doubly true for this one.

This book appealed to me because the author and I share a common interest (though in the case of Baker, it's more like an obsession) in the form of Updike's writing. Even so, it must be said that I agree with the negative reviews; many of them are right on. This book is often frustating and exasperating, particularly in the way Baker focuses on himself, his insecurities, his worth as a writer, and the way he does and doesn't hold up next to Updike. Not to mention the fact that several times he seemed about to, yet never does, come up with an explanation for why Updike's writing is so memorable and his words and images so long-lasting in the mind of the reader. I found myself wanting to read Updike more and Baker less...probably not the intended result (and, for the record, if Baker's own reading list is accurate, I've read way, way more Updike than him...which I found strange and unexpected, considering).

Still...Baker's writing, about Updike's writing, is often dead-on. When he focuses on that topic, he more or less succeeds; he is insightful and intelligent, and there is something entertaining in the way he struggles, strains, and sweats to dissect an author whose own writing is so often effortless.
one life
Baker has a gift for writing very funny pieces about subjects that are usually dry and serious. Nominally about John Updike, U and I is mostly concerned with how young writers are influenced by the "tradition" of past writers. He's anxious, for instance, about "The Anxiety of Influence." Has Harold Bloom covered the same ground already? Baker doesn't know, because he hasn't read Bloom, and now refuses to do so, for fear that the book will "take me over, remove the urgency I feel about what I'm recording here." His vague ideas of Bloom's argument have come second hand. "Book reviews, not books, being the principal engines of change in the history of thought." That doesn't stop him wildly speculating about what Bloom would say, and then sheepishly confessing to some of the books that have directly influenced his own work in progress, such as Exly's A Fan's Notes and Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot.
John Updike, in an interview that appeared in Salon, praised the book himself. "It has done me a favor, that book, because it's a book like few others. It's an act of homage, isn't it? He's a good writer, and he brings to that book all of his curious precision, that strange Bakeresque precision."
Nicholson Baker's semi-demented account of his Updike fascination begins from perhaps the slimmest premise a writer ever attempted to build a book upon. He admits that he hasn't even read most, or even half of Updike's work all the way through, and yet he can't help measuring his achievement against Updike's. Which, when you look at the imposing bulk of Updike's work against the handful of slender volumes that is Baker's, seems fair enough, at least if you think quantity is a virtue.
Yet Baker writes so well, not just about the nuances of his quasi-Oedipal relation to Updike, but about Stuff Generally, that we keep reading. When he says that a particularly sarky remark of Samuel Johnson's "merited a shout and a thigh slap", the economy of that phrases reassures us about his own talent; likewise his description of a hamburger as "substantial, tiered, sweet and meaty" makes you want to go out and chow down straight away. This is not only about Updike - although it's very good on Updike - but chiefly about Baker, and his own determination to wring poetry out of the everyday.
Perhaps Baker's real direction, if the manic momentum of "U and I" is anything to go by, is more towards the torrential worry of a Thomas Bernhard than the Olympian repose of an Updike. I only began to read Updike years after I'd read this book, and I find him a bit of a let-down. But Baker has gone on to do some entertaining things with sex, some excellent essays and a kid's book. He has demons far more volatile than Updike's; I think he should let them roam a little more freely.
U and I: A True Story download epub
History & Criticism
Author: Nicholson Baker
ISBN: 0394589947
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: History & Criticism
Language: English
Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (April 3, 1991)
Pages: 179 pages