„It was true of my generation, that the movies were terribly vivid and instructive.“

—  John Updike

Salon interview (2000)
Contesto: It was true of my generation, that the movies were terribly vivid and instructive. There were all kinds of things you learned. Like the 19th century novels, you saw how other social classes lived — especially the upper classes. So in a funny way, they taught you manners almost. But also moral manners. The gallantry of a Gary Cooper or an Errol Flynn or Jimmy Stewart. It was ethical instruction of a sort that the church purported to be giving you, but in a much less digestible form. Instead of these remote, crabbed biblical verses, you had contemporary people acting out moral dilemmas. Just the grace, the grace of those stars — not just the dancing stars, but the way they all moved with a certain grace. All that sank deep into my head, and my soul.

„It's no disgrace to, in the end, restore order. And punish the wicked and, in some way, reward the righteous.“

—  John Updike

Salon interview (2000)
Contesto: In the old movies, yes, there always was the happy ending and order was restored. As it is in Shakespeare's plays. It's no disgrace to, in the end, restore order. And punish the wicked and, in some way, reward the righteous.

„His upper half was hidden from me, I knew best his legs.“

—  John Updike, libro The Centaur

The Centaur (1963)
Contesto: I miss only, and then only a little, in the late afternoon, the sudden white laughter that like heat lightning bursts in an atmosphere where souls are trying to serve the impossible. My father for all his mourning moved in the atmosphere of such laughter. He would have puzzled you. He puzzled me. His upper half was hidden from me, I knew best his legs.

„Vocations drying up, nobody wants to be selfless any more, everybody wants their fun.“

—  John Updike, libro Rabbit at Rest

Rabbit at Rest (1990)
Contesto: Now nuns have blended into everybody else or else faded away. Vocations drying up, nobody wants to be selfless any more, everybody wants their fun. No more nuns, no more rabbis. No more good people, waiting to have their fun in the afterlife. The thing about the afterlife, it kept this life within bounds somehow, like the Russians. Now there's just Japan, and technology, and the profit motive, and getting all you can while you can.

„I think “taste” is a social concept and not an artistic one.“

—  John Updike

Interview in New York Times Book Review (10 April 1977). later published in Conversations with John Updike (1994) edited by James Plath, p. 113
Contesto: I think “taste” is a social concept and not an artistic one. I’m willing to show good taste, if I can, in somebody else’s living room, but our reading life is too short for a writer to be in any way polite. Since his words enter into another’s brain in silence and intimacy, he should be as honest and explicit as we are with ourselves.

„Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe.“

—  John Updike

Origine: Self-Consciousness : Memoirs (1989), Ch. 6
Contesto: 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.

„The pain of the world is a crater all these syrups and pills a thousandfold would fail to fill.“

—  John Updike, libro Rabbit Redux

Rabbit Redux (1969)
Contesto: His insides are beginning to feel sickly. The pain of the world is a crater all these syrups and pills a thousandfold would fail to fill.

„The fullness ends when we give Nature her ransom, when we make children for her. Then she is through with us, and we become, first inside, and then outside, junk. Flower stalks.“

—  John Updike, libro Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run (1960)
Contesto: He feels the truth: the thing that has left his life has left irrevocably; no search would recover it. No flight would reach it. It was here, beneath the town, in these smells and these voices, forever behind him. The fullness ends when we give Nature her ransom, when we make children for her. Then she is through with us, and we become, first inside, and then outside, junk. Flower stalks.

„We live down here among shadows, shadows among shadows.“

—  John Updike

Act I
Buchanan Dying (1974)
Contesto: Facts are generally overesteemed. For most practical purposes, a thing is what men think it is. When they judged the earth flat, it was flat. As long as men thought slavery tolerable, tolerable it was. We live down here among shadows, shadows among shadows.

„Facts are generally overesteemed. For most practical purposes, a thing is what men think it is.“

—  John Updike

Act I
Buchanan Dying (1974)
Contesto: Facts are generally overesteemed. For most practical purposes, a thing is what men think it is. When they judged the earth flat, it was flat. As long as men thought slavery tolerable, tolerable it was. We live down here among shadows, shadows among shadows.

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

—  John Updike

A Month of Sundays (1975)
Origine: A Month Of Sundays

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

—  John Updike, libro Rabbit, Run

Origine: Rabbit, Run

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

—  John Updike

Origine: Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism

„How can you respect the world when you see it's being run by a bunch of kids turned old?“

—  John Updike, libro Rabbit Is Rich

Origine: Rabbit Is Rich

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