Rabbit at Rest

John Updike, celebrated novelist and literary critic, has died of lung cancer at 76. Updike’s Wikipedia page was updated to reflect the news almost as soon as it broke (something that couldn’t have happened as quickly, incidentally, under Jimmy Wales’s proposed Flagged Revisions), and Twitter has been struggling to keep up with the “RIP John Updike” traffic. (Many “Twitter is over capacity” messages have been reported since the news broke about half an hour ago.) As Linda Famous (lfamous) put it, “shocked how many people are tweeting about John Updike. Must be a lot of readers on twitter.”

Among the thousands of other Updike-mourning tweets:

HalSF: “John Updike’s death makes me wonder what John Updike’s precise, chilly, feuilleton take on John Updike’s death would be.”

tomster2: “Updike’s now in the Big Bookstore in the Sky? Bummer.”

jonnybunny: “john updike is dead! shed a tear for a man who understood rabbits. and wrote 28 of my favorite books.”

rdhall (RD Hall): “‘Tell your mother, if she asks, that maybe we’ll meet some other time. Under the pear trees, in Paradise.’ —John Updike”

oupblog (Oxford University Press Blog): “‘The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.’ — John Updike”

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.