Literary Quotations
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by: John Updike

Love makes the air light.

Christians. God's name makes them feel guilty.

Fraud makes the world go round.

Old wounds opened like complicated flowers in the night.

He dreaded their quarrels: when their faces went angry and flat and words flew, it was as if a pane of glass were put in front of him, cutting off air.

Laws aren't ghosts in this country, they walk around with the smell of earth on them.

The only way to get somewhere, you know, is to figure out where you're going before you go there.

Everybody who tells you how to act has whisky on their breath.

His dreams are shallow, furtive things. His legs switch. His lips move a little against the pillow. The skin of his eyelids shudders as his eyeballs turn, surveying the inner wall of vision.

Do what the heart commands. The heart is our only guide.

There can be achievement even in defeat.

Nature leads you up like a mother and as soon as she gets her little contribution leaves you with nothing.

With women, you keep bumping against them, because they want different things; they're a different race. The good ones develop give.

After you're first-rate at something, no matter what, it kind of takes the kick out of being second-rate.

Sun and moon, sun and moon, time goes.

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

The difficulty with humorists is that they will mix what they believe with what they don't--whichever seems likelier to win an effect.

Some die young; some are born old.

Men are all heart and women are all body. I don't know who's supposed to have the brains. God, I suppose.

His life seems a sequence of grotesque poses assumed to no purpose, a magic dance empty of belief.

Events create events.

Sleep this night is not a dark haunted domain the mind must consciously set itself to invade, but a cave inside himself, into which he shrinks while the claws of the bear rattle like rain outside.

Children and dogs sense the invisible.

Life. It's a strange gift and I don't know how we're supposed to use it but I know it's the only gift we get and it's a good one.

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.

Right and wrong aren't dropped from the sky. We. We make them.

Never, the word never stops, there is never a gap in its thickness.

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