Last modified on 13 December 2012, at 22:40

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 RestEdit

(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)

Please note that it is Wikiquote's practice to quote no more than is permitted under the fair use doctrine, which does not depend on consent from the copyright holder. Even if the copyright holder agrees to release larger excerpts, it is not consistent with Wikiquote's purpose to include more than a very small proportion of the work, selected for the most striking quotability. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:07, 11 December 2012 (UTC)