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A recent review of More Matter in Private Eye snootily (and anonymously) gives John Updike the Cambridge backhand. “Entirely gratuitous,” it finds this 928-page compendium of reviews and casual pieces. Who wants to know, it asks, about “the best American stories of 15 years back” or “mediocre novels from 30 years ago”? Well, who-apart from this snoot-says that they are mediocre? But the tiresome reviewer witters on. “This is vanity publishing in the strictest sense of the term-a book that was published to flatter the author’s ego.” It is the sort of insolence which brings reviewing into disrepute and, as…

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