Life is a nacho. It can be yummy-crunchy or squishy-yucky. It just depends on how long it takes for you to start eating it.

— John Updike

The most famous John Updike quotes that will activate your inner potential

Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.


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

John Updike quote Inspiration arrives as a packet of mater

Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered.


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


You cannot help but learn more as take the world into your hands.

Take it up reverently, for it is and old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it.


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.


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


Bankruptcy is a sacred state, a condition beyond conditions, as theologians might say, and attempts to investigate it are necessarily obscene, like spiritualism. One knows only that he has passed into it and lives beyond us, in a condition not ours.


Perfectionism is the enemy of creation, as extreme self-solitude is the enemy of well-being.


The scissors cut the long-grown hair;

The razor scrapes the remnant fuzz. Small-jawed, weak-chinned, big-eyed, I stare At the forgotten boy I was.


Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe.

We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news, or a Last Judgment not subject to pages of holier-than-thou second-guessing in The New York Review of Books.


It is not difficult to deceive the first time, for the deceived possesses no antibodies; unvaccinated by suspicion, she overlooks lateness, accepts absurd excuses, permits the flimsiest patching to repair great rents in the quotidian.


So much love, too much love, it is our madness, it is rotting us out, exploding us like dandelion polls.


About John Updike

Quotes 344 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday March 18, 1932

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


Existence itself does not feel horrible;

it feels like an ecstasy, rather, which we have only to be still to experience.


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


Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying.


I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head.


Sex is like money; only too much is enough.


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


Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face.


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


A woman’s beauty lies, not in any exaggeration of the specialized zones, nor in any general harmony that could be worked out by means of the sectio aurea or a similar aesthetic superstition; but in the arabesque of the spine. The curve by which the back modulates into the buttocks. It is here that grace sits and rides a woman’s body.


The days are short, The sun a spark Hung thin between The dark and dark.


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


If you have the guts to be yourself, other people'll pay your price.


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


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.


The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.


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


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.


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


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.


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


Vagueness and procrastination are ever a comfort to the frail in spirit.


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


In a country this large and a language even larger .

.. there ought to be a living for somebody who cares and wants to entertain and instruct a reader.


What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.

Mark Twain Women are an alien race set down among us.


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


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


In general, the churches, visited by me often on weekdays.

.. bore for me the same relation to God that billboards did to Coca-Cola; they promoted thirst without quenching it.


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.


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.


The breezes taste Of apple peel. The air is full Of smells to feel- Ripe fruit, old footballs, Burning brush, New books, erasers, Chalk, and such. The bee, his hive, Well-honeyed hum, And Mother cuts Chrysanthemums. Like plates washed clean With suds, the days Are polished with A morning haze.


The world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun's just started.


That's the trouble with caring about anybody, you begin to feel overprotective.

Then you begin to feel crowded.


But it is just two lovers, holding hands and in a hurry to reach their car, their locked hands a starfish leaping through the dark.


An affair wants to spill, to share its glory with the world.

No act is so private it does not seek applause.


We're past the age of heroes and hero kings.

... Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it's up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.


Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead.

So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?