John Updike Quotes

Enjoy the top 597 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by John Updike.

John Updike Quotes

Lucas felt uncommonly depressed and careless. Drunkenness, in a man like August Hay, melts the restraints on cheerfulness. On the contrary with Lucas: he kept up courage consciously. Sap his mind, and the lid was lifted from a cesspool of muddy colors.
— John Updike —

Hope bases vast premises upon foolish accidents and reads a word where, in fact, only a scribble exists.

— John Updike

Is it not the singularity of life that terrifies us? Is not the decisive difference between comedy and tragedy that tragedy denies us another chance? Shakespeare over and over demonstrates life's singularity - the irrevocability of our decisions, hasty and even mad though they be. How solemn and huge and deeply pathetic our life does loom in its once-and doneness, how inexorably linear, even though our rotating, revolving planet offers us the cycles of the day and of the year to suggest that existence is intrinsically cyclical, a playful spin, and that there will always be, tomorrow morning or the next, another chance.

— John Updike

You have a life and there are these volumes on either side that go unvisited; some day soon as the world winds he will lie beneath what he now stands on, dead as those insects whose sound he no longer hears, and the grass will go on growing, wild and blind.

— John Updike

I remember one English teacher in the eighth grade, Florence Schrack, whose husband also taught at the high school. I thought what she said made sense, and she parsed sentences on the blackboard and gave me, I'd like to think, some sense of English grammar and that there is a grammar, that those commas serve a purpose and that a sentence has a logic, that you can break it down. I've tried not to forget those lessons, and to treat the English language with respect as a kind of intricate tool.

— John Updike

A yawning repetitiveness as of a man who knows few words but will not stop talking.

— John Updike

Rabbit realised the world was not solid and benign, it was a shabby set of temporary arrangements rigged up for the time being, all for the sake of money. You just passed through, and they milked you for what you were worth, mostly when you were young and gullible.

— John Updike

My life is, in a sense, trash. My life is only that of which the residue is my writing.

— John Updike

My interest generally is the hidden Americans; the ones who live far away from the headlines.

— John Updike

Musicians are very mysterious and wonderful people to me; I don't know how they do it.

— John Updike

I know how to choke. Given even a splinter-thin opportunity to let my side down and destroy my own score, I will seize it. Not only does ice water not run through my veins, but what runs there has a boiling point lower than body temperature.

— John Updike

Try to develop actual work habits, and even though you have a busy life, try to reserve an hour, say - or more - a day to write. Some very good things have been written on an hour a day.

— John Updike

Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic un-interestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?

— John Updike

In no other sport must the spectator move.

— John Updike

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