FindsGood

  1. Quotes
  2. Ernest Hemingway
  3. Posted on Wed, 22 Nov, 2017 at 2:42 PM

“Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor.”

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Quotes by Ernest Hemingway

  1. ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ was a problem which I carried on each day. I knew what was going to happen in principle. But I invented what happened each day I wrote.
  2. A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
  3. A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
  4. A writer of fiction is really… a congenital liar who invents from his own knowledge or that of other men.
  5. About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
  6. After you finish a book, you know, you’re dead. But no one knows you’re dead. All they see is the irresponsibility that comes in after the terrible responsibility of writing.
  7. All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.
  8. All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.
  9. All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
  10. All our words from loose using have lost their edge.
  11. All things truly wicked start from innocence.
  12. Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
  13. An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
  14. As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
  15. Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor.
  16. But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
  17. Certainly it is valuable to a trained writer to crash in an aircraft which burns. He learns several important things very quickly. Whether they will be of use to him is conditioned by survival. Survival, with honor, that outmoded and all-important word, is as difficult as ever and as all-important to a writer.
  18. Courage is grace under pressure.
  19. Cowardice… is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.
  20. Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts.
  21. Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.
  22. Ezra was right half the time, and when he was wrong, he was so wrong you were never in any doubt about it.
  23. Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.
  24. For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.
  25. For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.
  26. For a war to be just three conditions are necessary – public authority, just cause, right motive.
  27. From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality.
  28. Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
  29. Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.
  30. His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred.
  31. I always rewrite each day up to the point where I stopped. When it is all finished, naturally you go over it. You get another chance to correct and rewrite when someone else types it, and you see it clean in type. The last chance is in the proofs. You’re grateful for these different chances.
  32. I don’t like to write like God. It is only because you never do it, though, that the critics think you can’t do it.
  33. I know now that there is no one thing that is true – it is all true.
  34. I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
  35. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.
  36. I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
  37. I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
  38. I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?
  39. I love to go to the zoo. But not on Sunday. I don’t like to see the people making fun of the animals, when it should be the other way around.
  40. I never had to choose a subject – my subject rather chose me.
  41. I rewrote the ending to ‘Farewell to Arms,’ the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.
  42. I wake up in the morning and my mind starts making sentences, and I have to get rid of them fast – talk them or write them down.
  43. I’m not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.
  44. I’ve tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I’m afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred.
  45. If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.
  46. If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
  47. If you have a success you have it for the wrong reasons. If you become popular it is always because of the worst aspects of your work.
  48. In modern war… you will die like a dog for no good reason.
  49. It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.
  50. Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.
  51. Man is not made for defeat.
  52. My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
  53. Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.
  54. Never mistake motion for action.
  55. Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.
  56. No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. It can impose a solution but it cannot guarantee it to be a just one.
  57. On the ‘Star,’ you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone. Newspaper work will not harm a young writer and could help him if he gets out of it in time.
  58. Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.
  59. Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.
  60. Personal columnists are jackals and no jackal has been known to live on grass once he had learned about meat – no matter who killed the meat for him.
  61. Pound’s crazy. All poets are. They have to be. You don’t put a poet like Pound in the loony bin.
  62. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.
  63. Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.
  64. Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels built on the cuckoo clock style of architecture.
  65. That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best – make it all up – but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.
  66. That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.
  67. The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.
  68. The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
  69. The game of golf would lose a great deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green.
  70. The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the other.
  71. The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
  72. The shortest answer is doing the thing.
  73. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
  74. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.
  75. There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
  76. There is no friend as loyal as a book.
  77. There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.
  78. There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
  79. There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
  80. There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.
  81. There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
  82. There’s no one thing that is true. They’re all true.
  83. They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.
  84. Things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate; but eventually they are quite clear, and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses, he will endure or be forgotten.
  85. Time is the least thing we have of.
  86. To be a successful father… there’s one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don’t look at it for the first two years.
  87. Wars are caused by undefended wealth.
  88. We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
  89. What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
  90. When I am working on a book or a story, I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you, and it is cool or cold, and you come to your work and warm as you write.
  91. When I have an idea, I turn down the flame, as if it were a little alcohol stove, as low as it will go. Then it explodes and that is my idea.
  92. When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
  93. When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
  94. When you go to war as a boy, you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed, not you… Then, when you are badly wounded the first time, you lose that illusion, and you know it can happen to you.
  95. When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first.
  96. Why should anybody be interested in some old man who was a failure?
  97. Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.
  98. You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself.
  99. You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or, rather, you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love.
  100. You see, I am trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across – not to just depict life – or criticize it – but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me, you actually experience the thing. You can’t do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful.
  101. You’re beautiful, like a May fly.