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John Updike

1932-?. American writer.

Books by 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.

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When we try in good faith to believe in materialism, in the exclusive reality of the physical, we are asking our selves to step aside; we are disavowing the very realm where we exist and where all things precious are kept -- the realm of emotion and conscience, of memory and intention and sensation.

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

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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.

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

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

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To be President of the United States, sir, is to act as advocate for a blind, venomous, and ungrateful client; still, one must make the best of the case, for the purposes of Providence.

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

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Art imitates Nature in this; not to dare is to dwindle.

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Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic uninterestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity (in the Harvard sense) of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?

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