Treasure Island

Quotations From JOHN UPDIKE

 

  • 1.
    It rots a writer's brain, it cretinises you. You say the same thing again and again, and when you do that happily you're well on the way to being a cretin. Or a politician.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. interview, in Observer (London, Aug. 30, 1987). Interviewed by novelist Martin Amis.
  • 2.
    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 (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. New Yorker (July 30, 1990).

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  • 3.
    Sex is like money; only too much is enough.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Piet Hanema, in Couples, ch. 5 (1968).

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  • 4.
    I love my government not least for the extent to which it leaves me alone.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. testimony, Jan. 30, 1978, given before the Subcommittee on Select Education of the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, Boston. Hugging the Shore, appendix (1983).

    Read more quotations about / on: alone, love
  • 5.
    Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Hugging the Shore (collection of essays), foreword.

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  • 6.
    The first breath of adultery is the freest; after it, constraints aping marriage develop.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Couples, ch. 5 (1968).

    Read more quotations about / on: marriage
  • 7.
    By the time a partnership dissolves, it has dissolved.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Couples, ch. 5 (1968).

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  • 8.
    Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant. Of a teacher and a learner.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. novelist, critic. Couples, ch. 1 (1968).

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  • 9.
    It is not difficult to deceive the first time, for the deceived possesses no antibodies; unvaccinated by suspicion, she overlooks latenesses, accepts absurd excuses, permits the flimsiest patchings to repair great rents in the quotidian.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Couples, ch. 2 (1968).

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  • 10.
    Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth's many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more, and float upward in our heedlessness, singing Gratia Dei sum quod sum.
    John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Self-Consciousness: Memoirs, ch. 6 (1989). Gratia Dei sum quod sum ("Thanks be to God that I am what I am")Mone of the epigraphs of Updike's volume of memoirs—is inscribed on the tomb of Bishop West of Ely in Ely Cathedral, England.
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