Ian McEwan’s most recent novel is Nutshell.
 (July 2018)

IN THE REVIEW

Düssel…

Giorgio de Chirico: The Soothsayer’s Recompense, 1913
You ask how was it for me. To answer I must go back some fifty years to a warm Friday midnight and the moment when I whispered with utmost delicacy into the ear of my new friend the indelicate question. I was lying beneath her and she was in all her glory, naked but for a studded choker of lapis lazuli and gold. Even in the amber light of a bedside lamp, her skin gleamed white. Her eyes were closed as she swayed above me, her lips, minimally parted, allowed a glint of beautiful teeth. Her right hand rested lovingly on my left shoulder. She smelled faintly, not of perfume but of sandalwood soap.

On John Updike

John Updike, Massachusetts, 1984; photographs by Dominique Nabokov
In his autobiography Self-Consciousness, a “big-bellied Lutheran God” within the young John Updike looked on in contempt as he struggled to give up cigarettes. Many years later the older Updike, now giving up on alcohol, coffee, and salt, put into the mouth of that God the words of Frederick the …