But all the life-enhancing substances were set aside, and writing became Updike's "sole remaining vice. It is an addiction, an illusory release, a presumptuous taming of reality." In the mornings, he could write "breezily" of what he could not contemplate in the dark without "turning in panic to God". The plain facts of life were "unbearably heavy, weighted as they are with our personal death. Writing, in making the world light - in codifying, distorting, prettifying, verbalizing it - approaches blasphemy."
-- from Ian McEwan's appreciation of John Updike in the Guardian.