John Updike said…

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n

This morning I listened to Terry Gross’ interviews with John Updike and since I’ve been mulling over the nature of portraits and what draws us to them, I was struck by this comment he made about faces:

n

“The whole idea of a face is slightly funny, isn’t it? If you can put yourself outside of the species a moment these faces we carry around with the holes in them, the shiny holes and the dark holes and the one which shows a lot of teeth, it’s all odd beyond belief, really.”

n

This quote, which is so on the mark, makes me think of what happens when you look at a face upside down for awhile, how it begins to look creepy because it is at the same time so familiar and yet so different from what you’re used to: the holes are all there, but they are in the wrong places. If you haven’t experienced this (a sad comment on your childhood) you should try it: have someone lay down on their back with their head hanging over the edge, then stare at it and enjoy!

n


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