John Updike Quotes About Thou

Browse 23 famous quotes of John Updike about Thou.

"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
"Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them." ~ John Updike
"Students present themselves...like a succession of CDs whose shimmering surface gives no clue to their contents without the equipment to play them." ~ John Updike
"We are cruel enough without meaning to be." ~ John Updike
"It comes to him: growth is betrayal. There is no other route. There is no arriving somewhere without leaving somewhere." ~ 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
"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
"I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles, if I had to. The miracle of turning inklings into thoughts and thoughts into words and words into metal and print and ink never palls for me." ~ 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 Missed His Book, But I Read His Name"Though authors are a dreadful clanTo be avoided if you can,I'd like to meet the Indian,M. Anantanarayanan.I picture him as short and tan.We'd meet, perhaps, in Hindustan.I'd say, with admirable elan ,"Ah, Anantanarayanan --I've heard of you. The Times once ranA notice on your novel, anUnusual tale of God and Man."And AnantanarayananWould seat me on a lush divanAnd read his name -- that sumptuous spanOf 'a's and 'n's more lovely than"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan" --Aloud to me all day. I planHenceforth to be an ardent fanof Anantanarayanan --M. Anantanarayanan." ~ 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
"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
"People go around mourning the death of God; it's the death of sssin that bothers me. Without ssin, people aren't people any more, they're just ssoul-less sheep." ~ 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
"We are fated to love one another; we hardly exist outside our love, we are just animals without it, with a birth and a death and constant fear between. Our love has lifted us up , out of the dreadfulness of merely living." ~ 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
"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
"His insides are beginning to feel sickly. The pain of the world is a crater all these syrups and pills a thousandfold would fail to fill." ~ 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
"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
"Nature may be defined as that which exists without guilt." ~ John Updike
"…he is unlike the other customers. They sense it too, and look at him with hard eyes, eyes like little metal studs pinned into the white faces of young men [...] In the hush his entrance creates, the excessive courtesy the weary woman behind the counter shows him amplifies his strangeness. He orders coffee quietly and studies the rim of the cup to steady the sliding in his stomach. He had thought, he had read, that from shore to shore all America was the same. He wonders, Is it just these people I'm outside or is it all America?" ~ John Updike
Quotes About thou

Today's Quote

Since opposed principles, or ideologies, are irreconcilable, wars fought over principle will be wars of mutual annihilation. But wars fought for simple greed will be far less destructive, because the aggressor will be careful not to destroy what he is fighting to capture. Reasonable - that is, human - men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
Author: Alan Wilson Watts

Famous Authors

Popular Topics