John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic. One of only three writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once (the others were Booth Tarkington and William Faulkner), Updike published more than twenty novels, more than a dozen short-story collections, as well as poetry, art and literary criticism and children's books during his career.
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In asking forgiveness of women for our mythologizing of their bodies, for being unreal about them, we can only appeal to their own sexuality, which is different but not basically different, perhaps, from our own. For women, too, there seems to be that tangle of supplication and possessiveness, that descent towards infantile undifferentiation, that omnipotent helplessness, that merger with the cosmic mother-warmth, that flushed pulse-quickened leap into overestimation, projection, general mix-up.
When we try in good faith to believe in materialism, in the exclusive reality of the physical, we are asking our selves to step aside; we are disavowing the very realm where we exist and where all things precious are kept — the realm of emotion and conscience; of memory and intention and sensation.
We often hear of the beauties of old age, but the only old age that is beautiful is the one the man has been long preparing for by living a beautiful life. Every one of us is right now preparing for old age. … There may be a substitute somewhere in the world for Good Nature, but I do not know where it can be found. The secret of salvation is this: keep sweet, be useful, and keep busy.