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Quotations From ERNEST HEMINGWAY


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  • Pound's crazy. All poets are.... They have to be. You don't put a poet like Pound in the loony bin. For history's sake we shouldn't keep him there.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Quoted in New York Post (January 24, 1957). said of Pound's detention in St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC.

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  • You write a book like that that you're fond of over the years, then you see that happen to it, it's like pissing in your father's beer.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Quoted in A.E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, 1966 edition (1966). Hemingway made this remark after seeing David O. Selznick's remake of A Farewell to Arms (1957).

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  • Only one marriage I regret. I remember after I got that marriage license I went across from the license bureau to a bar for a drink. The bartender said, "What will you have, sir?" And I said, "A glass of hemlock."
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. quoted in A.E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, pt. 2, ch. 5 (1966 edition).

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  • 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.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. quoted in A.E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, pt. 2, ch. 5 (1966).

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  • 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.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. repr. In By-Line Ernest Hemingway, ed. William White (1967). "Notes on the Next War: A Serious Topical Letter," Esquire (New York, September 1935).

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  • 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.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. repr. In By-Line Ernest Hemingway, ed. William White (1967). "Old Newsman Writes: A Letter from Cuba," Esquire (New York, Dec. 1934).
  • 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.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Death in the Afternoon, ch. 1 (1932).
  • Never confuse movement with action.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. quoted by Marlene Dietrich in Papa Hemingway, pt. 1, ch. 1, A.E. Hotchner (1966 edition). "In those five words," Dietrich added, "he gave me a whole philosophy."
  • 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.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Death in the Afternoon, ch. 9 (1932).

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  • 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.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Death in the Afternoon, ch. 16 (1932).
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