Quotations From ERNEST HEMINGWAY
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A beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists, all powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Letter, July 1, 1925, to F. Scott Fitzgerald, describing Fitzgerald's version of heaven. Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters (1981). Hemingway depicts Fitzgerald's hell as "an ugly vacuum full of poor polygamists unable to obtain booze or with chronic stomach disorders that they called secret sorrows." For Hemingway's own idea of paradise, see his comment under "heaven."
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. New York Journal-American (July 11, 1961).
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.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Gustav Regler, in The Great Crusade, preface (1940).
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Death in the Afternoon, ch. 16 (1932).
Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. The Old Man and the Sea (1952). Quoted at the end of A.E. Hotchner's biography, Papa Hemingway (1966 edition).
Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Death in the Afternoon, ch. 11 (1932).
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All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.... American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. The Green Hills of Africa, ch. 1 (1935). "How simple the writing of literature would be," Hemingway said on accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in Dec. 1954, "if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him." (Carlos Baker, Hemingway: the Writer as Artist, ch. 13, ed.1963).
All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Letter, April 9, 1945. Selected Letters, ed. Carlos Baker (1981).
I wish I could write well enough to write about aircraft. Faulkner did it very well in Pylon but you cannot do something someone else has done though you might have done it if they hadn't.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Letter, July 3, 1956. Selected Letters, ed. Carlos Baker (1981).
This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don't want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste.Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Count Mippipopolous, in The Sun Also Rises, bk. 1, ch. 7 (1926).
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