Quotes from Couples

John Updike ·  570 pages

Rating: (4.1K votes)


“I like old men. They can be wonderful bastards because they have nothing to lose. The only people who can be themselves are babies and old bastards.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples


“All love is betrayal, in that it flatters life. The loveless man is best armed.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples


“Sex is like money; only too much is enough.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples


“No act is so private it does not seek applause.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples


“Ken appeared, was taller than she, wanted her, was acceptable and accepted on all sides; similarly, nagging mathematical problems abruptly crack open. Foxy could find no fault with him, and this challenged her, touched off her stubborn defiant streak. She felt between his handsomeness and intelligence a contradiction that might develop into the convoluted humour of her Jew. Ken looked lika a rich boy and worked like a poor one. From Farmington, he was the only son of a Hartford laywer who never lost a case. Foxy came to imagine his birth as cool and painless, without a tear or outcry. Nothing puzzled him. There were unknowns, but no mysteries. (...) He was better-looking, better-thinking, a better machine.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples



“The cloud of the consommé’s warmth enveloped her face and revived her poise. In the liquid a slice of lemon lay at fetal peace.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples


“A morning later, Nancy described her first dream, the first remembered dream of her life. She and Judy Thorne were on a screened porch, catching ladybugs. Judy caught one with one spot on its back and showed it to Nancy. Nancy caught one with two spots and showed it to Judy. Then Judy caught one with three spots and Nancy one with four. Because (the child explained) the dots showed how old the ladybugs were. She told this dream to her mother, who had her repeat it to her father at breakfast. Piet was moved, beholding his daughter launched intoanother dimension of life. Like school. He was touched by her tiny stock of imagery the screened porch (neither they nor the Thornes had one; who?), the ladybugs (with turtles the most toylike of creatures), the mysterious power of numbers, that generates space and time. Piet saw down a long amplifying corridor of her dreams, and wanted to hear her tell them, to grow older with her, to shelter her forever.” John Updike, Couples, 1968.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples


“this country since 1865 has an unenviable record for political violence. Four presidents, plus the attempts on Truman and both Roosevelts—as you know, Teddy was actually wounded, in his unsuccessful campaign in 1912—not to mention Huey Long. There isn’t a country west of the Balkans with any kind of the same record. The Prime Ministers of England go everywhere with a single bodyguard.”
― John Updike, quote from Couples


About the author

John Updike
Born place: in Shillington, Pennsylvania, The United States
Born date March 18, 1932
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