quote by John Updike

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

— John Updike

Valuable Disreputable quotations

The younger generation of today has grown up in a world in which in school and press the spirit of commercial enterprise has been represented as disreputable and the making of profit as immoral, where to employ a hundred people is represented as exploitation but to command the same number as honorable.

Trouble arises when either science or religion claims universal jurisdiction, when either religious dogma or scientific dogma claims to be infallible. Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute.

Although most of us know Vincent van Gogh in Arles and Paul Gauguin in Tahiti as if they were neighbors -- somewhat disreputable but endlessly fascinating -- none of us can name two French generals or department store owners of that period. I take enormous pride in considering myself an artist, one of the necessaries.

Dogs, the foremost snobs in creation, are quick to notice the difference between a well-clad and a disreputable stranger.


But man is a fickle and disreputable creature and perhaps, like a chess-player, is interested in the process of attaining his goal rather than the goal itself.

The state is in danger of falling into disrepute due to the evidence of its inadequate resources.

We have introduced a rule of law. That never existed for centuries in this country [South Africa], especially under the apartheid regime, when the law was reduced into disrepute.

Do not think you need necessarily have as fine swords and clothing as your neighbor. As long as they are not disreputable, they will do. And if you borrow and so lose your independence, you will be despised.

The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of "loyalty" and "duty". Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute, get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.


Theology is in disrepute among most Western intellectuals.

The word is taken to mean a passe form of religious thinking that embraces irrationality and dogmatism. So too, Scholasticism.

I lived in Italy for three years and wanted no part of the country's disreputable way of life.

Fantastic writing in English is kind of disreputable, but fantastic writing in translation is the summit.

In most circles, the idea of economic planning has been in disrepute most of the time and, particularly in America, has almost carried connotations of intellectual and moral perversion and even political subversion.

How many people want to read about three disreputable pigs and a dopey wolf with a disposition towards house demolition?


For years I felt that being respectable meant maintaining a sinister complacency, and the disreputable freedom I sought helped make me a writer.

I give nightly praise to my Maker that I never cast a ballot to bring that lazy, disreputable, ill-tempered beast into what was once my home. I'm glad that I had the courage to go on record as opposing that illegitimate, shameless flea-bag that now shares my bed and board. You abstainer, you!

Better to be ordinary people in a superior country than to be a president in a disreputable country.

Between the years of ninety-two and a hundred and two, however, we shall be the ribald, useless, drunken, outcast person we have always wished to be. We shall have a long white beard and long white hair; we shall not walk at all, but recline in a wheel chair and bellow for alcoholic beverages; in the winter we shall sit before the fire with our feet in a bucket of hot water, a decanter of corn whiskey near at hand, and write ribald songs against organized society... We look forward to a disreputable, vigorous, unhonoured, and disorderly old age.

The passion for office among members of Congress is very great, if not absolutely disreputable, and greatly embarrasses the operations of the Government. They create offices by their own votes and then seek to fill them themselves.


I used to use cigarettes to indicate somebody's an outsider a lot.

It gave character a seedy, disreputable, almost suicidal quality. Now cigarettes are so unused - - you can't have anybody indoors smoking. If you drew that in a restaurant, you'd have to have a panel where the manager comes over and kicks them out. Unless it's set in Europe, you can't really do that. Characters who smoke - - it dates comics, somehow.

When you invade Grenada, or when you invade Panama to capture a disreputable person, or when you bomb the Bosnia area, you can always find justification for those military actions, but it's really surprising how many times in those 25 years - that's a long time - the United States has interceded, I wouldn't say most of the time militarily, but a lot of those have been military actions.

Our own country seemed more polarized than it's ever been and since the two terrorist attacks of 9/11, religion was in greater disrepute than at any other time in my lifetime.

What the world wants, what the world is waiting for, is not Modern Poetry or Classical Poetry or Neo-Classical Poetry - but Good Poetry. And the dreadful disreputable doubt, which stirs in my own skeptical mind, is doubt about whether it would really matter much what style a poet chose to write in, in any period, as long as he wrote Good poetry.

Sweeping, confident articles on the future seem to me, intellectually, the most disreputable of all forms of public utterance.


Ruthless, greedy, tyrannical, disreputable.

.. they have had one principle worth all the rest, the principle of delight!

In no other field of scientific endeavor do otherwise intelligent people feel free to make public claims based on prejudice and ignorance. Yet in relation to psychic phenomena, committed materialists feel free to disregard the evidence and behave irrationally and unscientifically, while claiming to speak in the name of science and reason. They abuse the authority of science and bring rationalism into disrepute.

Most think that they are above being supported by the town;

but it oftener happens that they are not above supporting themselves by dishonest means, which would be more disreputable.

Italians are never punctual; the café, the convenient place to wait, absolves them from that. There is no question of hanging about, no looking lost and unwanted or even disreputable, as there is in hotel lobbies or the foyers of restaurants. One just sits and enjoys the scene, and waits.

I hate a conscience. It's always making you feel low down and disreputable. I don't believe I will say anything to my children about one, and let them have some peace.


False zeal is every day bringing true zeal into disrepute.

I am catholic. And I don't like to see catholicism being brought into disrepute by those in charge who don't seem to believe in God at all... they act like they don't think God is watching.

Herbert Spencer is little read now. Philosophers do not regard him as a major thinker. Social Darwinism has long been in disrepute.

In England you have a good phrase. It is 'to bring the game into disrepute.

Homer and Hesiod attributed to the gods all things which are disreputable and worthy of blame when done by men; and they told of them many lawless deeds, stealing, adultery, and deception of each other.

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