> Author Index > U - Authors > John Updike Quotes

John Updike Quotes


American novelist, poet, critic and short-story writer.
(1932 - 2009)

Pages: 1234Next

A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.
 

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.
 

A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted; while within the narrative, we have many apparent choices of exit, but when the author leads us to one particular door, we know it is the right one because it opens.
 

All men are boys time is trying to outsmart.
 

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
[America]
 

Americans have been conditioned to respect newness, whatever it costs them.
 

An affair wants to spill, to share its glory with the world. No act is so private it does not seek applause.
 

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better.
 

Art is like baby shoes. When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn.
 

Bankruptcy is a sacred state, a condition beyond conditions, as theologians might say, and attempts to investigate it are necessarily obscene, like spiritualism. One knows only that he has passed into it and lives beyond us, in a condition not ours.
 

Being naked approaches being revolutionary; going barefoot is mere populism.
 

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.
 

By the time a partnership dissolves, it has dissolved.
 

Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.
[Creativity]
 

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.
 

Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
 

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.
 

Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant. Of a teacher and a learner.
[Marriage]
 

Existence itself does not feel horrible; it feels like an ecstasy, rather, which we have only to be still to experience.
 

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.
[Bodies]
 


Pages: 1234Next