Notable Quotes
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Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings.

JOHN UPDIKE, A Month of Sundays

All vagrants think they're on a quest. At least at first.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run

Chaos is God's body. Order is the Devil's chains.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

I must go to Nature disarmed of perspective and stretch myself like a large transparent canvas upon her in the hope that, my submission being perfect, the imprint of a beautiful and useful truth would be taken.

JOHN UPDIKE, The Centaur

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

JOHN UPDIKE, On the Vineyard

There was a beauty here bigger than the hurtling beauty of basketball, a beauty refined from country pastures, a game of solitariness, of waiting, waiting for the pitcher to complete his gaze toward first base and throw his lightning, a game whose very taste, of spit and dust and grass and sweat and leather and sun, was America.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

Our lives fade behind us before we die.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit is Rich

You know how it is with fathers, you never escape the idea that maybe after all they're right.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run

The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with torture called education.

JOHN UPDIKE, The Centaur

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.

JOHN UPDIKE, Problems and Other Stories

The great thing about the dead, they make space.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit is Rich

Man is a means for turning things into spirit and turning spirit into things.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

The God of the Old Testament did not distance Himself from His chosen people; He participated in their struggles and made Israel's enemies His own. Israel's own transgressions grieved Him and incited Him to a terrible wrath. Ours is no aloof Lord--no Buddha beyond it all or Zeus making light of mortal travail. Among the world religions Christianity is unique in presenting a suffering God, a God who took human suffering upon Himself and in His agony gave birth to mankind's salvation.

JOHN UPDIKE, In the Beauty of the Lilies

I don't think even the blackest atheist has an idea of what real separation [from God] will be. Outer darkness. What we live in you might call ... "inner darkness."

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run

One of the nice things about having a lover, it makes you think about everything anew. The rest of your life becomes a kind of movie, flat and even rather funny.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

Christianity isn't looking for a rainbow. If it were ... we'd pass out opium at services. We're trying to serve God, not be God.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run

Revolution is just one crowd taking power from another.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

God Himself is simple, and employs simple men to shape the world.

JOHN UPDIKE, Terrorist

God is in the tiger as well as in the lamb.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

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


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, foreward, Too Far To Go

Sex ages us. Priests are boyish, spinsters stay black-haired until after fifty. We others, the demon rots us out.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

Life, just as we first thought, is playing grownup.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit is Rich

All men are boys time is trying to outsmart.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

Inch by inch. Life is a cinch. Yard by yard. Life is hard.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux


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