Quotes by John Updike

I like short stories.
- John Updike
I'm a dull person.
- John Updike
Nature refuses to rest.
- John Updike
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Humor is my default mode.
- John Updike
My father taught only math.
- John Updike
I have never liked haircuts.
- John Updike
Writing makes you more human.
- John Updike
All love comes from the family.
- John Updike
Gods don't answer letters.
- John Updike
I don't think women are dumb.
- John Updike
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People are incorrigibly themselves.
- John Updike
Eros is everywhere. It is what binds.
- John Updike
Belief, like love, must be voluntary.
- John Updike
We are most alive when we're in love.
- John Updike
Harvard has enough panegyrists without me.
- John Updike
Sex is like money; only too much is enough.
- John Updike
Reagan has turned America into a tax haven.
- John Updike
Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face.
- John Updike
Old age treats freelance writers pretty gently.
- John Updike
America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
- John Updike
In art, anything goes, and if it goes, it goes.
- John Updike
The first author I met socially was Joyce Cary.
- John Updike
In becoming an icon, it is useful to die young.
- John Updike
Authors should be honored only for their works.
- John Updike
Fiction is burdened for me with a sense of duty.
- John Updike
I think books should have secrets, like people do.
- John Updike
The rich - they just live in another realm, really.
- John Updike
By the time a partnership dissolves, it has dissolved.
- John Updike
In any interview, you do say more or less than you mean.
- John Updike
It's so hard to make a good tee shot after a birdie.
- John Updike
A Christian novelist tries to describe the world as it is.
- John Updike
We do survive every moment, after all, except the last one.
- John Updike
My wife and I had children when we were children ourselves.
- John Updike
Hobbies take place in the cellar and smell of airplane glue.
- John Updike
Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered.
- John Updike
I still want to give my public, such as it is, a book a year.
- John Updike
The theme of old age doesn't seem to fascinate Hollywood.
- John Updike
I suppose sequels are inevitable for a writer of a certain age.
- John Updike
All cartoonists are geniuses, but Arnold Roth is especially so.
- John Updike
Young or old, a writer sends a book into the world, not himself.
- John Updike
In a city like New York, you're aware of the rich and poor.
- John Updike
What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
- John Updike
I feel old only when I look at my hands or at myself in the mirror.
- John Updike
Reminiscence and self-parody are part of remaining true to oneself.
- John Updike
There's something very reassuring... about the written record.
- John Updike
Books externalise our brains and turn our homes into thinking bodies.
- John Updike
For some of us, books are intrinsic to our sense of personal identity.
- John Updike
The Internet doesn't like you to learn too much about explosives.
- John Updike
It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity restlessly rules.
- John Updike
There's almost nothing worse to live with than a struggling artist.
- John Updike
A person believes various things at various times, even on the same day.
- John Updike
Golf at its measured pace permits an electric excess of mental activity.
- John Updike
I love my government not least for the extent to which it leaves me alone.
- John Updike
I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles if I had to.
- John Updike
Thinking it over, I can't locate another artist in the Updike family.
- John Updike
Americans have been conditioned to respect newness, whatever it costs them.
- John Updike
Religion enables us to ignore nothingness and get on with the jobs of life.
- John Updike
Publishers are looking for blockbusters - all the world loves a megaseller.
- John Updike
Being naked approaches being revolutionary; going barefoot is mere populism.
- John Updike
Sometimes it seems the whole purpose of pets is to bring death into the house.
- John Updike
Art is like baby shoes. When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn.
- John Updike
Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better.
- John Updike
Now that I am sixty, I see why the idea of elder wisdom has passed from currency.
- John Updike
Somehow, it is hard to dislike a man once you have played a round of golf with him.
- John Updike
Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
- John Updike
The inner spaces that a good story lets us enter are the old apartments of religion.
- John Updike
I seem to have this need to belong to some church. I get worried on Sunday mornings.
- John Updike
Without books, we might just melt into the airwaves and be just another set of blips.
- John Updike
New York is, of course, many cities, and an exile does not return to the one he left.
- John Updike
My life is, in a sense, trash. My life is only that of which the residue is my writing.
- John Updike
The first breath of adultery is the freest; after it, constraints aping marriage develop.
- John Updike
My actinic keratosis is a result of the triumphalism of the beach. The sun exacerbates it.
- John Updike
When I went away to college, I marveled at the wealth of bookstores around Harvard Square.
- John Updike
Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant. Of a teacher and a learner.
- John Updike
We take our bearings, daily, from others. To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable.
- John Updike
I've always tried to write about America. It's very worth a writer's effort.
- John Updike
Does fiction, artistic writing, have much of a future? I must say it's on the way out.
- John Updike
Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
- John Updike
My interest generally is the hidden Americans; the ones who live far away from the headlines.
- John Updike
The substance of fictional architecture is not bricks and mortar but evanescent consciousness.
- John Updike
Memory has a spottiness, as if the film was sprinkled with developer instead of immersed in it.
- John Updike
For whatever crispness and animation my writing has I give some credit to the cartoonist manque.
- John Updike
Bookstores are lonely forts, spilling light onto the sidewalk. They civilize their neighborhoods.
- John Updike
The essential self is innocent, and when it tastes its own innocence knows that it lives for ever.
- John Updike
My first ambition was to be an animator for Walt Disney. Then I wanted to be a magazine cartoonist.
- John Updike
Baseball skills schizophrenically encompass a pitcher's, a batter's and a fielder's.
- John Updike
I think you remember certain phrases from bad reviews. You don't remember all the bad reviews.
- John Updike
New York, like the Soviet Union, has this universal usefulness: It makes you glad you live elsewhere.
- John Updike
Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
- John Updike
The writers we tend to universally admire, like Beckett, or Kafka, or TS Eliot, are not very prolific.
- John Updike
A seventeenth-century house tends to be short on frills like hallways and closets; you must improvise.
- John Updike
Until the 20th century it was generally assumed that a writer had said what he had to say in his works.
- John Updike
The lust to meet authors ranks low, I think, on the roll of holy appetites; but it is an authentic pang.
- John Updike
Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom but they dare to go it alone.
- John Updike
When I write, I aim in my mind not toward New York but toward a vague spot a little to the east of Kansas.
- John Updike
Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness; its peculiar magnitude permits no shading.
- John Updike
An affair wants to spill, to share its glory with the world. No act is so private it does not seek applause.
- John Updike
I was raised in the Depression, when there was a great sense of dog-eat-dog and people fighting over scraps.
- John Updike
If my mother hadn't been trying to be a writer, I don't know if I would have thought of it myself.
- John Updike
My generation was maybe the last in which you could set up shop as a writer and hope to make a living at it.
- John Updike
Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home, wondering why the hell you went.
- John Updike
To be President of the United States, sir, is to act as advocate for a blind, venomous, and ungrateful client.
- John Updike
I was trying to support a family with writing. I didn't have a private income. I had no other profession.
- John Updike
There is no pleasing New Englanders, my dear, their soil is all rocks and their hearts are bloodless absolutes.
- John Updike
I'm trying to get the terrorist out of the bugaboo category and into the category of a fellow human being.
- John Updike
A number of American colleges are willing to pay a tempting amount to pinch and poke an author for a day or two.
- John Updike
A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.
- John Updike

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