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Abraham Lincoln

John Updike Quotes

John Updike

John Hoyer Updike (18 March 1932 – 27 January 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic.
Updike’s most famous work is his Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom series, which chronicles Rabbit’s life over the course of several decades, from young adulthood to his death. Both Rabbit Is Rich (1981) and Rabbit At Rest (1990) received the Pulitzer Prize. Updike is one of only three authors to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. He published more than twenty novels and more than a dozen short story collections, as well as poetry, art criticism, literary criticism and children’s books. Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems appeared in The New Yorker, starting in 1954. He also wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books.





1. RAIN IS GRACE; RAIN IS THE SKY DESCENDING TO THE EARTH; WITHOUT RAIN, THERE WOULD BE NO LIFE.
2. WHAT ART OFFERS IS SPACE – A CERTAIN BREATHING ROOM FOR THE SPIRIT.
3. THE ESSENTIAL SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT COMES FROM WITHIN, ARISING OUT OF THE MAD NOTION THAT YOUR SOCIETY NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT ONLY YOU CAN TELL IT.
4. ART IS LIKE BABY SHOES. WHEN YOU COAT THEM WITH GOLD, THEY CAN NO LONGER BE WORN.
5. WE ARE MOST ALIVE WHEN WE’RE IN LOVE.
6. CREATIVITY IS MERELY A PLUS NAME FOR REGULAR ACTIVITY. ANY ACTIVITY BECOMES CREATIVE WHEN THE DOER CARES ABOUT DOING IT RIGHT, OR BETTER.
7. WRITING CRITICISM IS TO WRITING FICTION AND POETRY AS HUGGING THE SHORE IS TO SAILING IN THE OPEN SEA.
8. WE DO SURVIVE EVERY MOMENT, AFTER ALL, EXCEPT THE LAST ONE.
9. TRUTH SHOULD NOT BE FORCED; IT SHOULD SIMPLY MANIFEST ITSELF, LIKE A WOMAN WHO HAS IN HER PRIVACY REFLECTED AND COOLLY DECIDED TO BESTOW HERSELF UPON A CERTAIN MAN.
10. BEING NAKED APPROACHES BEING REVOLUTIONARY; GOING BAREFOOT IS MERE POPULISM.
11. AMERICA IS A VAST CONSPIRACY TO MAKE YOU HAPPY.
12. IF MEN DO NOT KEEP ON SPEAKING TERMS WITH CHILDREN, THEY CEASE TO BE MEN, AND BECOME MERELY MACHINES FOR EATING AND FOR EARNING MONEY.
13. THE ESSENTIAL SELF IS INNOCENT, AND WHEN IT TASTES ITS OWN INNOCENCE KNOWS THAT IT LIVES FOR EVER.
14. NOW THAT I AM SIXTY, I SEE WHY THE IDEA OF ELDER WISDOM HAS PASSED FROM CURRENCY.
15. AN AFFAIR WANTS TO SPILL, TO SHARE ITS GLORY WITH THE WORLD. NO ACT IS SO PRIVATE IT DOES NOT SEEK APPLAUSE.
16. THE FIRST BREATH OF ADULTERY IS THE FREEST; AFTER IT, CONSTRAINTS APING MARRIAGE DEVELOP.
17. GOLF APPEALS TO THE IDIOT IN US AND THE CHILD. JUST HOW CHILDLIKE GOLF PLAYERS BECOME IS PROVEN BY THEIR FREQUENT INABILITY TO COUNT PAST FIVE.
18. DREAMS COME TRUE; WITHOUT THAT POSSIBILITY, NATURE WOULD NOT INCITE US TO HAVE THEM.
19. TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, SIR, IS TO ACT AS ADVOCATE FOR A BLIND, VENOMOUS, AND UNGRATEFUL CLIENT.
20. A LEADER IS ONE WHO, OUT OF MADNESS OR GOODNESS, VOLUNTEERS TO TAKE UPON HIMSELF THE WOE OF THE PEOPLE. THERE ARE FEW MEN SO FOOLISH, HENCE THE ERRATIC QUALITY OF LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD.
21. A HEALTHY MALE ADULT BORE CONSUMES EACH YEAR ONE AND A HALF TIMES HIS OWN WEIGHT IN OTHER PEOPLE’S PATIENCE.
22. BY THE TIME A PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVES, IT HAS DISSOLVED.
23. SEX IS LIKE MONEY; ONLY TOO MUCH IS ENOUGH.
24. ANY ACTIVITY BECOMES CREATIVE WHEN THE DOER CARES ABOUT DOING IT RIGHT OR BETTER.
25. CUSTOMS AND CONVICTIONS CHANGE; RESPECTABLE PEOPLE ARE THE LAST TO KNOW, OR TO ADMIT, THE CHANGE, AND THE ONES MOST OFFENDED BY FRESH REFLECTIONS OF THE FACTS IN THE MIRROR OF ART.
26. WHEN I WRITE, I AIM IN MY MIND NOT TOWARD NEW YORK BUT TOWARD A VAGUE SPOT A LITTLE TO THE EAST OF KANSAS.
27. AMERICANS HAVE BEEN CONDITIONED TO RESPECT NEWNESS, WHATEVER IT COSTS THEM.
28. FROM INFANCY ON, WE ARE ALL SPIES; THE SHAME IS NOT THIS BUT THAT THE SECRETS TO BE DISCOVERED ARE SO PALTRY AND FEW.
29. WE TAKE OUR BEARINGS, DAILY, FROM OTHERS. TO BE SANE IS, TO A GREAT EXTENT, TO BE SOCIABLE.
30. I LOVE MY GOVERNMENT NOT LEAST FOR THE EXTENT TO WHICH IT LEAVES ME ALONE.
31. BUT FOR A FEW PHRASES FROM HIS LETTERS AND AN ODD LINE OR TWO OF HIS VERSE, THE POET WALKS GAGGED THROUGH HIS OWN BIOGRAPHY.
32. GOVERNMENT IS EITHER ORGANIZED BENEVOLENCE OR ORGANIZED MADNESS; ITS PECULIAR MAGNITUDE PERMITS NO SHADING.
33. 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.
34. 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.
35. UNTIL THE 20TH CENTURY IT WAS GENERALLY ASSUMED THAT A WRITER HAD SAID WHAT HE HAD TO SAY IN HIS WORKS.
36. INSPIRATION ARRIVES AS A PACKET OF MATERIAL TO BE DELIVERED.
37. FOUR YEARS WAS ENOUGH OF HARVARD. I STILL HAD A LOT TO LEARN, BUT HAD BEEN GIVEN THE LIBERATING NOTION THAT NOW I COULD TEACH MYSELF.
38. WRITERS MAY BE DISREPUTABLE, INCORRIGIBLE, EARLY TO DECAY OR LATE TO BLOOM BUT THEY DARE TO GO IT ALONE.
39. THERE IS NO PLEASING NEW ENGLANDERS, MY DEAR, THEIR SOIL IS ALL ROCKS AND THEIR HEARTS ARE BLOODLESS ABSOLUTES.
40. RELIGION ENABLES US TO IGNORE NOTHINGNESS AND GET ON WITH THE JOBS OF LIFE.
41. EVERY MARRIAGE TENDS TO CONSIST OF AN ARISTOCRAT AND A PEASANT. OF A TEACHER AND A LEARNER.
42. MOST OF AMERICAN LIFE CONSISTS OF DRIVING SOMEWHERE AND THEN RETURNING HOME, WONDERING WHY THE HELL YOU WENT.
43. EXISTENCE ITSELF DOES NOT FEEL HORRIBLE; IT FEELS LIKE AN ECSTASY, RATHER, WHICH WE HAVE ONLY TO BE STILL TO EXPERIENCE.
44. THAT A MARRIAGE ENDS IS LESS THAN IDEAL; BUT ALL THINGS END UNDER HEAVEN, AND IF TEMPORALITY IS HELD TO BE INVALIDATING, THEN NOTHING REAL SUCCEEDS.
45. THE INNER SPACES THAT A GOOD STORY LETS US ENTER ARE THE OLD APARTMENTS OF RELIGION.
46. FOR MALE AND FEMALE ALIKE, THE BODIES OF THE OTHER SEX ARE MESSAGES SIGNALING WHAT WE MUST DO, THEY ARE GLOWING SIGNIFIERS OF OUR OWN NECESSITIES.
47. THERE’S A CRYSTALLIZATION THAT GOES ON IN A POEM WHICH THE YOUNG MAN CAN BRING OFF, BUT WHICH THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN CAN’T.
48. THE REFUSAL TO REST CONTENT, THE WILLINGNESS TO RISK EXCESS ON BEHALF OF ONE’S OBSESSIONS, IS WHAT DISTINGUISHES ARTISTS FROM ENTERTAINERS, AND WHAT MAKES SOME ARTISTS ADVENTURERS ON BEHALF OF US ALL.

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