Quotes Categories

John Updike Quotes

(1932), American Novelist, Critic

It is not difficult to deceive the first time, for the deceived possesses no antibodies; unvaccinated by suspicion, she overlooks lateness, accepts absurd excuses, permits the flimsiest patching to repair great rents in the quotidian.

Category: Adultery

Now that I am sixty, I see why the idea of elder wisdom has passed from currency.

Category: Age And Aging

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.

Category: America

Art imitates Nature in this; not to dare is to dwindle.

Category: Arts And Artists

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?

Category: Atheism

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.

Category: Body

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

Category: Bores And Boredom

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.

Category: Children

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.

Category: Christians And Christianity

Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.

Category: Critics And Criticism

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.

Category: Custom

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.

Category: Debt

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

Category: Dreams

School is where you go between when your parents can't take you, and industry can't take you.

Category: Education

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

Category: Existence