John Updike

John Updike

American writer and criticus

Lived from: 1932-

Category: Media | Writers (Contemporary)

Quotes: John Updike

Quotes 1 till 15 of 38.

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    Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe. We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news, or a Last Judgment not subject to pages of holier-than-thou second-guessing in The New York Review of Books.
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    A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.
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    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.
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    America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
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    Americans have been conditioned to respect newness, whatever it cost them.
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    Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic uninterestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity (in the Harvard sense) of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?
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    An affair wants to spill, to share its glory with the world. No act is so private it does not seek applause.
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    Art imitates Nature in this; not to dare is to dwindle.
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    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.
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    Being naked approaches being revolutionary; going barefoot is mere populism.
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    By the time a partnership dissolves, it has dissolved.
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    Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face. As soon as one is aware of being ''somebody,'' to be watched and listened to with extra interest, input ceases, and the performer goes blind and deaf in his over-animation. One can either see or be seen.
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    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.
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    Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
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    Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant. Of a teacher and a learner.
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