Ernest Hemingway

(Ernest Miller Hemingway)

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
  • Born: July 21, 1899
  • Died: July 2, 1961
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Novelist

126

Quotes

31

Citations

141

Concepts

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Videos

Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American journalist, novelist, and short-story writer. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two non-fiction works. Three of his novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
… looking and not seeing things was a great sin. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book. Humor ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
A writer who will not lie cannot live or work under Fascism Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
All things truly wicked start from an innocence. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
All you can be sure about in a political-minded writer is that if his work should last you will have to skip the politics when you read it. Many of the so-called politically enlisted writers change their politics frequently... Perhaps it can be respected as a form of the pursuit of happiness. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered. Human Nature
Being against evil doesn't make you good. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination. Human Nature
Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him.
Everybody is friends when things are bad enough. Miscellaneous
Grace under pressure. Human Nature
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know Human Nature
Honor to a Spaniard, no matter how dishonest, is as real a thing as water, wine, or olive oil. There is honor among pickpockets and honor among whores. It is simply that the standards differ. Human Nature
I wonder what your idea of heaven would be — A beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists. All powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death. And hell would probably an ugly vacuum full of poor polygamists unable to obtain booze or with chronic stomach disorders that they called secret sorrows. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is very dangerous to write the truth in war, and the truth is very dangerous to come by. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I've seen a lot of patriots and they all died just like anybody else if it hurt bad enough and once they were dead their patriotism was only good for legends; … If you are going to be a great patriot, i.e., loyal to any existing order of government (not one who wishes to destroy the existing for something better), you want to be killed early if your life .... Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Just as the earth can never die, neither will those who have ever been free return to slavery. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Never confuse movement with action. Management & Managing Government
No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. the war you always think that it's not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough War & Peace
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. War & Peace
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. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The circus is the only spectacle I know, that while you watch it, givrd the quslity of a very happy dream. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
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. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;War & Peace
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. Human Nature
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. History
There are many who do not know they are Fascists, but will find it out when the time comes. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
War is no longer made by simply analyzed economic forces if it ever was. War is made or planned now by individual men, demagogues and dictators who play on the patriotism of their people to mislead them into a belief in the great fallacy of war when all their vaunted reforms have failed to satisfy the people they misrule. War & Peace ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
We in America should see that no man is ever given, no matter how gradually or how noble and excellent the man, the power to put this country into a war War & Peace
When you give power to an executive, you do not know who will be filling that position when the time of crisis comes. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
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.
A writer of fiction is really... a congenital liar who invents from his own knowledge or that of other men. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
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.
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.
All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened.
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.
All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time. Life ;Time
All our words from loose using have lost their edge.
All things truly wicked start from innocence.
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. Time ;Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
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. Death ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. Failure
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.
Courage is grace under pressure.
Cowardice... is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.
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.
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. Life
Ezra was right half the time, and when he was wrong, he was so wrong you were never in any doubt about it. Time
Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth. Death
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. Time
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.
For a war to be just three conditions are necessary - public authority, just cause, right motive. War & Peace
'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.
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.
Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.
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. Time
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.
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. Religion & God
I know now that there is no one thing that is true - it is all true.
I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
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. War & Peace
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. Communication & Communications
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know? Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I never had to choose a subject - my subject rather chose me.
I rewrote the ending to 'Farewell to Arms,' the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.
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. Morning
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.
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. Life
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. Success ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.
In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason. War & Peace
It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way. Business, Commerce & Finance
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. Hope
Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you. Death
Man is not made for defeat. Failure
My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Travel
Never mistake motion for action.
Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. War & Peace
No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. It can impose a solution but it cannot guarantee it to be a just one.
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. Time ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it. Death
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.
Pound's crazy. All poets are. They have to be. You don't put a poet like Pound in the loony bin.
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.
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.
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.
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.
That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. Trust
The game of golf would lose a great deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. Sports & Athletics
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. Life
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. Happiness & Unhappiness
The shortest answer is doing the thing.
The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.
There is no friend as loyal as a book.
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. War & Peace
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Death
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.
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
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. War & Peace
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.
Time is the least thing we have of. Time
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.
Wars are caused by undefended wealth. War & Peace
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
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. Morning ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
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.
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
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. Time ;War & Peace
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.
Why should anybody be interested in some old man who was a failure? Failure
Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up. Travel
You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself.
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. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
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. Life
You're beautiful, like a May fly.