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" There's something very reassuring... about the written record. "
" We are most alive when we're in love. "
" John Barth, I think, was really a writer of my own age and somewhat of my own temperament, although his books are very different from mine, and he has been a spokesman for the very ambitious, long, rather academic novel. But I don't think that what he is saying, so far as I understand it, is so very different from what I'm saying. "
" I don't know; I think I'd be gloomy without some faith that there is a purpose and there is a kind of witness to my life. "
" It's so hard to make a good tee shot after a birdie. "
" Authors should be honored only for their works. "
" 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. "
" Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant. Of a teacher and a learner. "
" In art, anything goes, and if it goes, it goes. "
" What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. "
" In tennis, there is the forehand, the backhand, the overhead smash and the drop volley, all with a different grip. "
" My actinic keratosis is a result of the triumphalism of the beach. The sun exacerbates it. "
" My attempt has been really to, beyond making a record of contemporary life, which is what you inevitably do, is trying to make beautiful books - books that are in some way beautiful, that are models of how to use the language, models of honest feeling, models of care. "
" A seventeenth-century house can be recognized by its steep roof, massive central chimney and utter porchlessness. Some of those houses have a second-story overhang, emphasizing their medieval look. "
" 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 first author I met socially was Joyce Cary. "
" A lot of the Koran does not speak very eloquently to a Westerner. Much of it is either legalistic or opaquely poetic. "
" Memories, impressions and emotions from the first 20 years on earth are most writers' main material; little that comes afterward is quite so rich and resonant. "
" Imagine writing a poem with a sweating, worried-looking boy handing you a different pencil at the end of every word. My golf, you may say, is no poem; nevertheless, I keep wanting it to be one. "
" Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered. "
" Eros is everywhere. It is what binds. "
" Customs and convictions change; respectable people are the last to know, or to admit, the change, and the ones most offended by fresh reflections of the facts in the mirror of art. "
" In any interview, you do say more or less than you mean. "
" Thinking it over, I can't locate another artist in the Updike family. "
" My golf is so delicate, so tenuously wired together with silent inward prayers, exhortations and unstable visualizations, that the sheer pressure of an additional pair of eyes crumbles the whole rickety structure into rubble. "
" Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life. "
" The essential support and encouragement comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell it. "
" I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles if I had to. "
" For many years, I read mystery novels for relaxation. But my tastes were too narrow - and, having read all of Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr, I discovered that the implausibility and the thinness of the people distracted me unduly from the plot. "
" My father taught only math. "
" To be President of the United States, sir, is to act as advocate for a blind, venomous, and ungrateful client. "