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Customs and convictions change; respectable people are the last to know,
by John Updike

Customs and convictions change; respectable people are the last to know,
or to admit, the change, and the ones most offended
by fresh reflections of the facts in the mirror of art.
- John Updike

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
- John Updike

Golf appeals to the idiot in us and the child.
Just how childlike golf players become is proven by
their frequent inability to count past five.
- John Updike

The first breath of adultery is the freest;
after it,
constraints aping marriage develop.
- John Updike

 

Until the 20th century it was generally assumed that
a writer had said what he had to say in his works.
- John Updike

Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth;
without rain,
there would be no life.
- John Updike

An affair wants to spill, to share its glory with the world.
No act is so private it does not seek applause.
- John Updike

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Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered.
- John Updike

Religion enables us to ignore nothingness and get on with the jobs of life.
- John Updike

Art is like baby shoes.
When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn.
- John Updike

Dreams come true; without that possibility,
nature would not incite us to have them.
- John Updike

Four years was enough of Harvard.
I still had a lot to learn, but had been given the
liberating notion that now I could teach myself.
- John Updike

Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity.
Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right,
or better.
- John Updike

There's a crystallization that goes on in a poem which
the young man can bring off,
but which the middle-aged man can't.
- John Updike

We are most alive when we're in love.
- John Updike

Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible,
early to decay or late to bloom but they dare to go it alone.
- John Updike

But for a few phrases from his letters and an odd line or two of his verse,
the poet walks gagged through his own biography.
- John Updike

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
- John Updike

The essential self is innocent, and when it tastes
its own innocence knows that it lives for ever.
- John Updike

Truth should not be forced; it should simply manifest itself,
like a woman who has in her privacy reflected and coolly
decided to bestow herself upon a certain man.
- John Updike

For male and female alike, the bodies of the other
sex are messages signaling what we must do,
they are glowing signifiers of our own necessities.
- John Updike

Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry
as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
- John Updike

If men do not keep on speaking terms with children,
they cease to be men, and become merely machines for
eating and for earning money.
- John Updike

That a marriage ends is less than ideal;
but all things end under heaven,
and if temporality is held to be invalidating,
then nothing real succeeds.
- John Updike

We take our bearings, daily, from others.
To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable.
- John Updike

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about
doing it right or better.
- John Updike

The inner spaces that a good story lets us enter are
the old apartments of religion.
- John Updike

Sex is like money; only too much is enough.
- John Updike

From infancy on, we are all spies; the shame is not
this but that the secrets to be discovered are so paltry and few.
- John Updike

The Founding Fathers in their wisdom decided that children
were an unnatural strain on parents.
So they provided jails called schools,
equipped with tortures called an education.
- John Updike

Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home,
wondering why the hell you went.
- John Updike

By the time a partnership dissolves,
it has dissolved.
- John Updike

Now that I am sixty, I see why the idea of elder wisdom
has passed from currency.
- John Updike

Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness;
its peculiar magnitude permits no shading.
- John Updike

We do survive every moment, after all,
except the last one.
- John Updike

Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant.
Of a teacher and a learner.
- John Updike

There is no pleasing New Englanders,
my dear,
their soil is all rocks and their hearts are bloodless absolutes.
- John Updike

Being naked approaches being revolutionary;
going barefoot is mere populism.
- John Updike

Each morning my characters greet me with misty faces willing,
though chilled, to muster for another day's progress
through the dazzling quicksand the marsh of blank paper.
- John Updike

Americans have been conditioned to respect newness,
whatever it costs them.
- 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

Existence itself does not feel horrible;
it feels like an ecstasy,
rather, which we have only to be still to experience.
- John Updike

When I write, I aim in my mind not toward New York
but toward a vague spot a little to the east of Kansas.
- John Updike

A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and
a half times his own weight in other people's patience.
- John Updike

To be President of the United States,
sir, is to act as advocate for a blind,
venomous, and ungrateful client.
- John Updike

I love my government not least for the extent to which it leaves me alone.
- John Updike

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

The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk
excess on behalf of one's obsessions,
is what distinguishes artists from entertainers,
and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all.
- John Updike

A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number
of false doors have been painted;
while within the narrative,
we have many apparent choices of exit,
but when the author leads us to one particular door,
we know it is the right one because it opens.
- John Updike

No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes.
He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and
institutions and ways of thinking.
- Ruth Benedict

Jews are the intensive form of any nationality whose
language and customs they adopt.
- Emma Lazarus

The customs and fashions of men change like leaves on the bough,
some of which go and others come.
- Dante Alighieri

Customs do not concern themselves
with right or wrong or reason.
But they have to be obeyed;
one reasons all around them until he is tired,
but he must not transgress them, it is sternly forbidden.
- Mark Twain

I have often thought of it as one of the most barbarous customs in the world,
considering us as a civilized and a Christian country,
that we deny the advantages of learning to women.
- Daniel Defoe

Marriage brings one into fatal connection with custom and tradition,
and traditions and customs are like the wind and weather,
altogether incalculable.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The Roman Code was merely an enunciation in words of
the existing customs of the Roman people.
- Henry James Sumner Maine

Thank God we're going to try to continue and effectively
defend our frontiers with the Border Patrol,
with the Customs Department, with the Coast Guard,
with the Armed Forces.
- Barry McCaffrey

I have never smuggled anything in my life.
Why, then, do I feel an uneasy sense of guilt on approaching a customs barrier?
- John Steinbeck

And we had our own laws.
I mean, I wrote them.
And we had our own customs, and traditions,
and proprieties.
- James Stockdale

I don't like people who take drugs...
Customs men for example.
- Mick Miller

There will be no lasting peace either in the heart
of individuals or in social customs until death is outlawed.
- Albert Camus

If someone were to put a proposition before men bidding them choose,
after examination, the best customs in the world,
each nation would certainly select its own.
- Herodotus

Moralities, ethics, laws, customs, beliefs,
doctrines - these are of trifling import.
All that matters is that the miraculous become the norm.
- Henry Miller

We wouldn't turn over our customs service or our border
patrol to a foreign government.
We shouldn't turn over the ports of the United States,
either.
- Robert Menendez

If you reject the food, ignore the customs,
fear the religion and avoid the people,
you might better stay at home.
- James A. Michener

Customs form us all, our thoughts, our morals,
our most fixed beliefs; are consequences of our place of birth.
- Aaron Hill

A civilization is a heritage of beliefs,
customs, and knowledge slowly accumulated in the course of centuries,
elements difficult at times to justify by logic,
but justifying themselves as paths when they lead somewhere,
since they open up for man his inner distance.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Our ports are owned by local governments who are responsible for the ports.
It is the Coast Guard and Customs that provide security.
The federal government will never outsource our security.
- Kit Bond

Rather than be asked to abandon one's own heritage
and to adapt to the mores of the new country,
one was expected to possess a treasure of foreign skills
and customs that would enrich the resources of American living.
- Rudolf Arnheim

Now it is evident that a little insight into the customs
of every people is necessary to insure a kindly communication;
this,
joined with patience and kindness, will seldom fail
with the natives of the interior.
- Charles Sturt

I think it is important also to recognize that our
Customs border protection officers who secure our borders
and conduct inspections of people in vehicles and cargo
are also facing staffing shortages.
- Kendrick Meek


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