Beyond a doubt

Seek My Face: A Novel. By John Updike. Knopf, 274 pp., $23.00.

At 70 John Updike is still adventurously experimental. His 20th novel is about American abstract expressionist artists in the period after World War II. It is also about God and the devil. These interlaced themes emerge dramatically right at the beginning: “For a long time I have lived as a recluse, fearing the many evidences of God’s non-existence with which the world abounds. The world, it has come to me slowly, is the Devil’s motley, colorful instead of pure. I restrict my present canvases to shades of grey ever closer together, as if in the pre-dawn, before light begins to lift edges into being. I am trying, it may be, to paint holiness.”


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