John Updike Quotes About Here

Browse 29 famous quotes of John Updike about Here.

"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." ~ John Updike
"Museums and bookstores should feel, I think, like vacant lots - places where the demands on us are our own demands, where the spirit can find exercise in unsupervised play." ~ John Updike
"Hope bases vast premises upon foolish accidents and reads a word where, in fact, only a scribble exists." ~ 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
"It comes to him: growth is betrayal. There is no other route. There is no arriving somewhere without leaving somewhere." ~ John Updike
"He showed the world what can be done against the odds, against a superpower. He showed -- and this is where Vietnam and Iraq come in, that in a war between an imperialist occupier and the people who actually live there, the people will eventually prevail. They know the terrain. They have more at stake. They have nowhere else to go." ~ 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
"I like middles. . . It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity restlessly rules." ~ John Updike
"He doesn't blame people for many sin, but he does hate uncoordination, the root of all evil, as he feels it, for without coordination there can be no order, no connecting." ~ John Updike
"Ken appeared, was taller than she, wanted her, was acceptable and accepted on all sides; similarly, nagging mathematical problems abruptly crack open. Foxy could find no fault with him, and this challenged her, touched off her stubborn defiant streak. She felt between his handsomeness and intelligence a contradiction that might develop into the convoluted humour of her Jew. Ken looked lika a rich boy and worked like a poor one. From Farmington, he was the only son of a Hartford laywer who never lost a case. Foxy came to imagine his birth as cool and painless, without a tear or outcry. Nothing puzzled him. There were unknowns, but no mysteries. (...) He was better-looking, better-thinking, a better machine." ~ John Updike
"I drive my car to supermarket,The way I take is superhigh,A superlot is where I park it,And Super Suds are what I buy.Supersalesmen sell me tonic -Super-Tone-O, for Relief.The planes I ride are supersonic.In trains, I like the Super Chief.Supercilious men and womenCall me superficial - me,Who so superbly learned to swim inSupercolossality.Superphosphate-fed foods feed me;Superservice keeps me new.Who would dare to supersede me,Super-super-superwho?" ~ 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
"Nevertheless, we react to one a bit differently than we do to Rothko's hovering panels or Barnett Newman's stripes, though Whistler does approach their extremity of abstraction; part of our pleasure lies in recognizing bridges and buildings in the mist, and in sensing the damp riverine silence, the glimmering metropolitan presence. … The painting - a single blurred stripe of urban shore - is additionally daring in that the sky and sea are no shade of blue, but, instead, an improbable, pervasive cobalt green. Human vision is here taken to its limits, and modern painting, as a set of sensations realized in paint, is achieved." ~ John Updike
"Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life." ~ John Updike
"History. The more of it you have the more you have to live it. After a little while there gets to be too much of it to memorize and maybe that's when empires start to decline." ~ John Updike
"From earliest childhood I was charmed by the materials of my craft, by pencils and paper and, later, by the typewriter and the entire apparatus of printing. To condense from one's memories and fantasies and small discoveries dark marks on paper which become handsomely reproducible many times over still seems to me, after nearly 30 years concerned with the making of books, a magical act, and a delightful technical process. To distribute oneself thus, as a kind of confetti shower falling upon the heads and shoulders of mankind out of bookstores and the pages of magazines is surely a great privilege and a defiance of the usual earthbound laws whereby human beings make themselves known to one another." ~ John Updike
"A woman's beauty lies, not in any exaggeration of the specialized zones, nor in any general harmony that could be worked out by means of the sectio aurea or a similar aesthetic superstition; but in the arabesque of the spine. The curve by which the back modulates into the buttocks. It is here that grace sits and rides a woman's body." ~ John Updike
"...but with his mother there's no question of liking him they're not even in a way separate people he began in her stomach and if she gave him life she can take it away and if he feels that withdrawal it will be the grave itself." ~ John Updike
"But cities aren't like people; they live on and on, even though their reason for being where they are has gone downriver and out to sea." ~ John Updike
"One world: everybody fucks everybody. When he thinks of all the fucking there's been in the world and all the fucking there's going to be, and none of it for him, here he sits in this stuffy car dying, his heart just sinks. He'll never fuck anybody again in his lifetime except poor Janice Springer, he sees this possibility ahead of him straight and grim as the known road." ~ John Updike
"In that latitude the temperature flirted with a hundred degrees for a few of the dog days, but to a child it can hardly ever be too hot. I liked the sun licking the backs of my legs, and the sweat between my shoulder blades, and the violet evenings, with ice cream and fireflies, wherein the long day slowly cooled. I liked the ants piling up dirt like coffee grounds between the bricks of our front walk, and the milkweed spittle in the vacant lot next door. I liked the freedom of shorts, sneakers, and striped T-shirt, with freckles and a short hot-weather haircut.We love easily in summer, perhaps, because we love our summer selves." ~ John Updike
"Whatever men make," she says, "what they felt when they made it is there...Man is a means for turning things into spirit and turning spirit into things." ~ John Updike
"If Rabbit knew a way to clone an adult sized vagina, Rabbit would clone it, have sex with it, then clone an arm to the side of that vagina so he could carry it with him everywhere he went like a big, fuzzy key chain." ~ John Updike
"The Sometime Sportsman Greets the Springby John UpdikeWhen winter's glaze is lifted from the greens,And cups are freshly cut, and birdies sing,Triumphantly the stifled golfer preensIn cleats and slacks once more, and checks his swing.This year, he vows, his head will steady be,His weight-shift smooth, his grip and stance ideal;And so they are, until upon the teeBefall the old contortions of the real.So, too, the tennis-player, torpid fromHibernal months of television sports,Perfects his serve and feels his knees becomeSheer muscle in their unaccustomed shorts.Right arm relaxed, the left controls the toss,Which shall be high, so that the racket faceShall at a certain angle sweep acrossThe floated sphere with gutty strings—an ace!The mind's eye sees it all until uponThe courts of life the faulty way we playedIn other summers rolls back with the sun.Hope springs eternally, but spring hopes fade." ~ John Updike
"There was a beauty here bigger than the hurtling beauty of basketball, a beauty refined from country pastures, a game of solitariness, of waiting, waiting for the pitcher to complete his gaze toward first base and throw his lightning, a game whose very taste, of spit and dust and grass and sweat and leather and sun, was America." ~ John Updike
"The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding." ~ John Updike
"The faith in an afterlife, however much our reason ridicules it, very modestly extends our faith that each moment of our consciousness will be followed by another - that a coherent matrix has been prepared for this precious self of ours. The guarantee that our self enjoys an intended relation to the outer world is most, if not all, of what we ask from religion. God is the self projected onto reality by our natural and necessary optimism. He is the not-me personified." ~ John Updike
"Ever since, two summers ago, Joe Marino had begun to come into her bed, a preposterous fecundity had overtaken the staked plans, out in the side garden where the southwestern sun slanted in through the line of willows each long afternoon. 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. Of plants, tomatoes seemed the most human, eager and fragile and prone to rot. Picking the watery orange-red orbs, Alexandra felt she was cupping a giant lover's testicles in her hand." ~ John Updike
"And there was, in those Ipswich years, for me at least, a raw educational component; though I used to score well in academic tests, I seemed to know very little of how the world worked and was truly grateful for instruction, whether it was how to stroke a backhand, mix a martini, use a wallpaper steamer, or do the Twist. My wife, too, seemed willing to learn. Old as we must have looked to our children, we were still taking lessons, in how to be grown-up." ~ John Updike
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When the beer is gone, so are they -- flexing their cars on up the boulevard."
Author: Amy Hempel

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