John Updike Quotes
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We are most alive when we're in love.
Having children is something we think we ought to do because our parents did it, but when it is over the children are just other members of the human race, rather disappointingly.
We're past the age of heroes and hero kings... Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it's up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.
Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home, wondering why the hell you went.
A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.
Americans have been conditioned to respect newness, whatever it costs them.
The dead teach this great lesson, which we are loathe to learn: we too will die.
There is no such thing as static happiness. Happiness is a mixed thing, a thing compounded of sacrifices, and losses, and betrayals.
Chinese food in Texas is the best Chinese food in the United States except Boston.
What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
Suddenly summoned to witness something great and horrendous, we keep fighting not to reduce it to our own smallness.
Humor is my default mode.
But it is just two lovers, holding hands and in a hurry to reach their car, their locked hands a starfish leaping through the dark.
The fullness ends when we give Nature her ransom, when we make children for her. Then she is through with us, and we become, first inside, and then outside, junk. Flower stalks.
Oh, ' she says, 'the Vat prints nothing but rapes. You know what a rape usually is? It's a woman who changed her mind afterward.
On the single strand of wire strung to bring our house electricity, grackles and starlings neatly punctuated an invisible sentence.
The scrape and snap of Keds on loose alley pebbles seems to catapult their voices high into the moist March air blue above the wires.
Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings.
Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom but they dare to go it alone.
I was made to feel I could do things. If you get this feeling early and can hold it until you're 15, you tend to never lose it.
To guarantee the individual maximum freedom within a social frame of minimal laws ensures - if not happiness - its hopeful pursuit.
Mozart's music gives us permission to live.
Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant. Of a teacher and a learner.
She had willed herself open to him and knew that the chemistry of love was all within her, her doing. Even his power to wound her with neglect was a power she had created and granted ...
Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant of a teacher and a learner.
Each morning my characters greet me with misty faces willing, though chilled, to muster for another day's progress through the dazzling quicksand the marsh of blank paper.
Who'll hold families together, if everybody has to live? Living is a compromise, between doing what you want and doing what other people want.
The study of literature threatens to become a kind of paleontology of failure, and criticism a supercilious psychoanalysis of authors.
What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.
Now that I am sixty, I see why the idea of elder wisdom has passed from currency.
The Founding Fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called an education.
One does not go to Moscow to get fat.
Russia is the only country of the world you can be homesick for while you're still in it.
We are cruel enough without meaning to be.
Growth is betrayal.
He doesn't blame people for many sins, but he does hate uncoordination, the root of all evil, as he feels it, for without coordination there can be no order, no connecting.
[I]n my own case at least I feel my professional need for freedom of speech and expression prejudices me toward a government whose constitution guarantees it.
It is easy to love people in memory the hard thing is to love them when they are there in front of you.
The inner spaces that a good story lets us enter are the old apartments of religion.
The difficulty with humourists is that they will mix what they believe with what they don't whichever seems likelier to win an effect.
Momentarily drained of lust, he stares at the remembered contortions to which it has driven him. His life seems a sequence of grotesque poses assumed to no purpose, a magic dance empty of belief.
Being able to write becomes a kind of shield, a way of hiding, a way of too instantly transforming pain into honey.
Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered.
Driving is boring, " Rabbit pontificates, "but it's what we do. Most of American life is driving somewhere and then driving back wondering why the hell you went.
The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.
Children are not a zoo of entertainingly exotic creatures, but an array of mirrors in which the human predicament leaps out at us.
They’ve not forgotten him: worse, they never heard of him.
If you have the guts to be yourself, other people'll pay your price.
One of the cool chaste countries - Canada or Sweden.
What I'm going to do is pry every stinking tag off these f.ing chairs and make a f.ing collar and throw that cat right in Connor's puked-up face. Pale turd.