Talk:John Updike

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  • Americans have been conditioned to respect newness, whatever it costs them.
  • Art is like baby shoes. When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn.
  • Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.
    • Variant: Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better.
  • How do you write women so well? I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability.
  • I would rather have as my patron a host of anonymous citizens digging into their own pockets for the price of a book or a magazine than a small body of enlightened and responsible men administering public funds. I would rather chance my personal vision of truth striking home here and there in the chaos of publication that exists than attempt to filter it through a few sets of official, honorably public-spirited scruples.
  • Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered.
  • Life is a nacho. It can be yummy-crunchy or squishy-yucky. It just depends on how long it takes for you to start eating it.
  • Life is a razor, you are always in hot water or a scrape.
  • Life is a roller coaster, you have your ups and downs unless you fall off.
  • Life is a video game. No matter how good you get, you are always zapped in the end.
  • Life is like an overlong drama through which we sit being nagged by the vague memories of having read the reviews.
  • Men emerge pale from the little printing plant at four sharp, ghosts for an instant, blinking, until the outdoor light overcomes the look of constant indoor light clinging to them.
  • Natural beauty is essentially temporary and sad; hence the impression of obscene mockery which artificial flowers give us
  • Perfectionism is the enemy of creation, as extreme self-solicitude is the enemy of well-being.
  • Possession diminishes perception of value, immediately.
  • Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.
  • The crooked little tomato branches, pulpy and pale as if made of cheap green paper, broke under the weight of so much fruit; there was something frantic in such fertility, a crying-out like that of children frantic to please.
  • The ending is where the reader discovers whether he has been reading the same story the writer thought he was writing.
  • The stripped and shapely Maple grieves The ghosts of her Departed leaves. The ground is hard, As hard as stone. The year is old, The birds are flown.
  • The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.
  • We are most alive when we're in love.
  • We do survive every moment, after all, except the last one.
  • What art offers is space— a certain breathing room for the spirit.
  • Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying.

Rabbit Remembered, & Rabbit at Rest[edit]

(Amended note 10.12.2012) I am waiting to hear from Alfred A. Knopf, publishers, with approval/comment on these quotes. The Wylie Agency have told me Alfred A. Knopf control reprint rights to these two works. CJRMcLaughlin (talk) 21:57, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

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