Does anyone know what inspired John Updike's short story 'Archangel', a beautiful but mystifying (to me anyway) piece of prose?
The 'story' reads more like poetry than prose and seems to present a series of images of perfection. When I first read it I felt it had a psalm-like quality and this would at least loosely connect with the title but that's about as far as I got with it. I'm not necessarily asking for an 'explanation' because much literature remains beautiful in mystery (Eliot is probably my favourite in this regard), but I would like to hear some impressions from other readers. Thanks.
Interesting reading of this. I happened to pick up Pigeon Feathers last week at a thrift store and reading through it I was really struck by this piece (prose? poem?). I've read it over several times and I think it may be Updike's Muse, a kind of stream-of-consciousness description that came to him as his career was just beginning to take off and he was coming to grips with what was happening to him. To me, its a spiritual, non-religious vision of what lives and breathes in every artist.