John Updike Quotes About Thin

Browse 32 famous quotes of John Updike about Thin.

"Writing … is an addiction, an illusory release, a presumptuous taming of reality, a way of expressing lightly the unbearable. That we age and leave behind this litter of dead, unrecoverable selves is both unbearable and the commonest thing in the world — it happens to everybody. In the morning light one can write breezily, without the slight acceleration of one's pulse, about what one cannot contemplate in the dark without turning in panic to God. In the dark one truly feels that immense sliding, that turning of the vast earth into darkness and eternal cold, taking with it all the furniture and scenery, and the bright distractions and warm touches, of our lives. Even the barest earthly facts are unbearably heavy, weighted as they are with our personal death. Writing, in making the world light — in codifying, distorting, prettifying, verbalizing it — approaches blasphemy." ~ 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
"For many men, work is the effective religion, a ritual occupation and inflexible orientation which permits them to imagine that the problem of their personal death has been solved. Unamuno: ‘Work is the only practical consolation for having been born.' My own chosen career — its dispersal and multiplication of the self through publication, its daily excretion of yet more words, the eventual reifying of those words into books — certainly is a practical consolation, a kind of bicycle which, if I were ever to stop pedaling, would dump me flat on my side. Religion enables us to ignore nothingness and get on with the jobs of life." ~ John Updike
"It frightens him to think of her this way. It makes her seem, in terms of love, so vast." ~ John Updike
"No soul or locale is too humble to be the site of entertaining and instructive fiction. Indeed, all other things being equal, the rich and glamorous are less fertile ground than the poor and plain, and the dusty corners of the world more interesting than its glittering, already sufficiently publicized centers." ~ John Updike
"...I glance around at the nest we have made, at the floorboards polished by our bare feet, at the continents of stain on the ceiling like an old and all-wrong discoverer's map, at the earnestly bloated canvases I conscientiously cover with great streaks straining to say what even I am begining to suspect is the unsayable thing, and I grow frightened." ~ John Updike
"Atrocity is truly emperor; All things that thrive are slaves of cruel Creation." ~ John Updike
"Standing amid the tan, excited post-Christmas crowd at the Southwest Florida Regional Airport, Rabbit Angstrom has a funny sudden feeling that what he has come to meet, what's floating in unseen about to land, is not his son Nelson and daughter-in-law Pru and their two children but something more ominous and intimately his: his own death, shaped vaguely like an airplane." ~ 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 woman once of some height, she is bent small, and the lingering strands of black look dirty in her white hair. She carries a cane, but in forgetfulness, perhaps, hangs it over her forearm and totters along with it dangling loose like an outlandish bracelet. Her method of gripping her gardener is this: he crooks his right arm, pointing his elbow toward her shoulder, and she shakily brings her left forearm up within his and bears down heavily on his wrist with her lumpish freckled fingers. Her hold is like that of a vine to a wall; one good pull will destroy it, but otherwise it will survive all weathers." ~ John Updike
"Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children"They will not be the same next time. The sayingsso cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged inthe more securely to the worldly buzzof television, alphabet, and street talk,culture polluting their gazes' dawn blue.It makes you see at last the value ofthose boring aunts and neighbors (their smellsof summer sweat and cigarettes, their faceslike shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves)who knew you from the start, when you were zero,cooing their nothings before you could be boredor knew a name, not even you own, or howthis world brave with hellos turns all goodbye." ~ 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 love you" he says."That means nothing from you.Have it have it you say:how?will you marry me?""I'd love to""You'd love to do any thing.What about your wife?What about the boy you already have?""I don't know""Will you divorce her?No,you love being married to her too....You love being married to everybody....What can you make up your mind what you want to do?""I can't...I don't know""How would you support me?How many wives can you support?Your jobs are a joke....You aren't worth hiring...may be once you could play basketball....but you can't do anything now!!!What the hell do you think the world is?""please have the baby"he says "you got to have it""Why?why do you care""I don't know..I don't know any of these answers..All I know is what feels right,You feel right to me....Sometimes Janice used to,Sometimes nothing does" ~ John Updike
"My first thought, as a child, was that the artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and that he does it without destroying something else. A kind of refutation of the conservation of matter. That still seems to me its central magic, its core of joy." ~ John Updike
"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit." ~ John Updike
"The essential support and encouragement comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell it." ~ John Updike
"You do things and do things and nobody really has a clue." ~ John Updike
"Suddenly summoned to witness something great and horrendous, we keep fighting not to reduce it to our own smallness." ~ John Updike
"...hate suits him better than forgiveness. Immersed in hate, he doesn't have to do anything; he can be paralyzed, and the rigidty of hatred makes a kind of shelter for him." ~ John Updike
"I like old men. They can be wonderful bastards because they have nothing to lose. The only people who can be themselves are babies and old bastards." ~ John Updike
"I once did something right. I played first-rate basketball. I really did. And after you're first-rate at something, no matter what, it kind of takes the kick out of being second-rate." ~ 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
"We are each of us like our little blue planet, hung in black space, upheld by nothing but our mutual reassurances, our loving lies." ~ 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
"What is this? He has a sensation of touching glass. He doesn't know if they are talking about nothing or making code for the deepest meanings." ~ John Updike
"Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle" The celebrated windows flamed with lightdirectly pouring north across the Seine;we rustled into place. Then violinsvaunting Vivaldi's strident strength, then Brahms,seemed to suck with their passionate sweetness,bit by bit, the vigor from the red,the blazing blue, so that the listening eyesaw suddenly the thick black lines, in shapesof shield and cross and strut and brace, that heldthe holy glowing fantasy together.The music surged; the glow became a milk,a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbeduntil our beating hearts, our violinswere cased in thin but solid sheets of lead." ~ John Updike
"Oh,' she says, 'the Vat prints nothing but rapes. You know what a rape usually is? It's a woman who changed her mind afterward." ~ John Updike
"It's been the same story ever since I can remember, ever since Wilson – the Republicans don't do a thing for the little man." ~ John Updike
"In fact we do not try to picture the afterlife, nor is it our selves in our nervous tics and optical flecks that we wish to perpetuate; it is the self as the window on the world that we can't bear to thinkof shutting. My mind when I was a boy of ten or eleven sent up its silent scream at the thought of future aeons -- at the thought of the cosmic party going on without me. The yearning for an afterlife is the opposite of selfish: it is love and praise of the world that we are privileged, in this complex interval of light, to witness and experience." ~ John Updike
"For supper Jill cooks a filet of sole, lemony, light, simmered in sunshine, skin flaky brown; Nelson gets a hamburger with wheatgerm sprinkled on it to remind him of a Nutburger. Wheatgerm, zucchini, water chestnuts, celery salt, Familia: these are some of the exotic items Jill's shopping brings into the house. Her cooking tastes to him of things he never had: candlelight, saltwater, health fads, wealth, class." ~ 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
"When I was in power, I found that experts can't be trusted. For this simple reason: unlike tyrants, they are under no delusion that a country, a people is their body. Under this delusion a tyrant takes everything personally. An expert takes nothing personally. Nothing is ever precisely his fault. If a bridge collapses, or a war miscarries, he has already walked away. He still has his expertise. Also,---people imagine that because a thing is big, it has had a great deal of intelligent thought given to it. This is not true. A big idea is even more apt to be wrong than a small one, because the scale is inorganic. The Great Wall, for instance, is extremely stupid. The two biggest phenomena in the world right now are Maoism and American television, and both are extremely stupid." ~ John Updike
Quotes About thin

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I'd rather face a devil I know than one I don't."
Author: Cameron Jace

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