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John Updike

1932 - 2009

We are most alive when we're in love.




Professionalism in art has this difficulty: To be professional is to be dependable, to be dependable is to be predictable, and predictability is esthetically boring - an anti-virtue in a field where we hope to be astonished and startled and at some deep level refreshed.




At last, small witches, goblins, hags,
And pirates armed with paper bags,
Their costumes hinged on safety pins,
Go haunt a night of pumpkin grins.




Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic un-interestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?




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




Chaos is God's body. Order is the Devil's chains.