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John Updike Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by John Updike from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

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

Related topics: Art

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

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

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

 

Religion enables us to ignore nothingness and get on with the jobs of 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

Courage is the art of being the only one
who knows you're scared to death.
- Earl Wilson

Motivation is the art of getting people to do
what you want them to do because they want to do it.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Besides the noble art of getting things done,
there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
- Lin Yutang

The supreme art of war is
to subdue the enemy without fighting.
- Sun Tzu

Tell me what company thou keepst,
and I'll tell thee what thou art.
- Miguel de Cervantes

Your life is the manifestation of your dream;
it is an art.
You can change your life anytime if
you aren't enjoying the dream.
- don Miguel Ruiz

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
- Thomas Merton

The whole art of teaching is only the art
of awakening the natural curiosity
of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.
- Anatole France

The business of art is to reveal the relation between man and his environment.
- David Herbert Lawrence

My love of fine art increased - the more of it I saw,
the more of it I wanted to see.
- Paul Getty

When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next
to a God made object like a tree or flower.
If it clashes, it is not art.
- Paul Cezanne

The history of art is the history of revivals.
- Samuel Butler

Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself,
and dies of all others.
- Albert Camus

Art doesn't transform.
It just plain forms.
- Roy Lichtenstein

Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
- Ambrose Bierce

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training,
for it trains people as to how they should think.
- Arthur Schopenhauer

Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is
an invention of philosophers...
What we call art is a game.
- Octavio Paz

Things turn out best for the people
who make the best of the way things turn out.
- Art Linkletter

The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.
- Theodor Adorno

My imagination can picture no fairer happiness than
to continue living for art.
- Clara Schumann

Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time.
Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things
which always become ugly with time.
- Jean Cocteau


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