Ernest Hemingway Quotes

100+ of the best book quotes from Ernest Hemingway
“And you’ll always love me, won’t you?” “Yes.” “And the rain won’t make any difference?” “No.”
“But life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.”
“When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve.”
“I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?” “Yes. I want to ruin you.” “Good,” I said. “That’s what I want too.”
“When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen.”
“They were beaten to start with. They were beaten when they took them from their farms and put them in the army.”
“I’m not brave any more darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me.”
“The way to make people trust-worthy is to trust them.”
“But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
“You will be good to me, won’t you? . . . Because we’re going to have a strange life.”
“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”
“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
“Let him think that I am more man than I am and I will be so.”
“Why do old men wake so early? Is it to have one longer day?”
“I may not be as stong as I think, but I know many tricks and I have resolution.”
“If the others heard me talking out loud they would think that I am crazy. But since I am not crazy, I do not care.”
“No one should be alone in their old age, he thought.”
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
“I will not be quoting Hemingway anytime soon, nor will I ever read another one of his books. And if he were still alive, I would write him a letter right now and threaten to strangle him dead with my bare hands just for being so glum. No wonder he put a gun to his head, like it says in the introductory essay.”
“There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true.”
“I had an inheritance from my father, It was the moon and the sun. And though I roam all over the world, The spending of it’s never done.”
“So now do not worry, take what you have, and do your work and you will have a long life and a very merry one.”
“I am thee and thou art me and all of one is the other.”
“And if thou dost not love me, I love thee enough for both.”
“There is a hollow empty feeling that a man can have when he is waked too early in the morning that is almost like the feeling of disaster and he had this multiplied a thousand times.”
“The world is a fine place and worth fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.”
“No animal has more liberty than the cat, but it buries the mess it makes. The cat is the best anarchist.”
“Everything you have is to give.”
“Never think that war, no matter how necessary nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.”
“Discipline must come from trust and confidence.”
“Heresy is the foe of countenance.”
“You have never heard me talk much. But an intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend his time with fools.”
“To understand is to forgive.”
“I loved you when I saw you today and I loved you always but I never saw you before.”
“How little we know of what there is to know. I wish that I were going to live a long time instead of going to die today because I have learned much about life in these four days; more, I think than in all other time. I’d like to be an old man to really know. I wonder if you keep on learning or if there is only a certain amount each man can understand. I thought I knew so many things that I know nothing of. I wish there was more time.”
“There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life. A good life is not measured by any biblical span.”
“How little we know of what there is to know.”
“He did not care for the lying at first. He hated it. Then later he had come to like it. It was part of being an insider but it was a very corrupting business.”
Cohn: “I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.” Jake: “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters.”
“It was a good morning, there were high white clouds above the mountains. It had rained a little in the night and it was fresh and cool on the plateau, and there was a wonderful view. We all felt good and we felt healthy, and I felt quite friendly to Cohn. You could not be upset about anything on a day like that. That was the last day before the fiesta.”
“Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn. He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton.”
“You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”
“I looked at myself in the mirror of the big armoire beside the bed . . . Of all the ways to be wounded. I suppose it was funny.”
“Belmonte was no longer well enough. He no longer had his greatest moments in the bull-ring. He was not sure that there were any great moments. Things were not the same and now life only came in flashes.”
“Brett was happy. Mike had a way of getting an intensity of feeling into shaking hands. Robert Cohn shook hands because we were back.”
“As I went downstairs I heard Bill singing, ‘Irony and Pity. When you’re feeling . . . Oh, Give them Irony and Give them Pity.‘”
“Nobody that ever left their own country ever wrote anything worth printing. Not even in the newspapers.”
″ all the time I was kneeling with my forehead on the wood in front of me, and was thinking of myself as praying, I was a little ashamed, and I regretted that I was such a rotten Catholic, but realized there was nothing I could do about it, at least for a while and maybe never, but that anyway it was a grand religion, and I only wished I felt religious and maybe I would the next time.”
“The three of us sat at the table, and it seemed as though about six people were missing.”
“Then I went on, and my feet seemed to be a long way off, and everything seemed to come from a long way off, and I could hear my feet walking a great distance away.”
“I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together...”
“It was a good morning, there were high white clouds above the mountains. It had rained a little in the night and it was fresh and cool on the plateau, and there was a wonderful view. We all felt good and we felt healthy, and I felt quite friendly to Cohn. You could not be upset about anything on a day like that. That was the last day before the fiesta.”
“In the Basque country the land all looks very rich and green and the houses and villages look well-off and clean… the houses in the villages had red tiled roofs, and then the road turned off and commenced to climb and we were going way up close along a hillside, with a valley below and hills stretched off back toward the sea.”
“It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening.”
“I hated to leave France. Life was so simple in France. I felt I was a fool to be going back into Spain. In Spain you could not tell about anything.”
“I had the feeling as in a nightmare of it all being something repeated, something I had been through and that now I must go through again.”
“I looked at myself in the mirror of the big armoire beside the bed . . . Of all the ways to be wounded. I suppose it was funny.”
″‘Oh darling,’ Brett said, ‘I’m so miserable.’ I had that feeling of going through something that has all happened before. ‘You were happy a minute ago.‘”
Standing there I wondered how much of what we had felt on the bridge was just hunger. I asked my wife and she said, ‘I don’t know, Tatie. There are so many sorts of hunger. In the spring there are more. But that’s gone now. Memory is hunger.‘”
Everything about him was old except his eyes, and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.
The thousand times he had proved it meant nothing. Now he was proving it again.
“Then the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally; but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.”
“There you could always go into the Luxembourg museum and all the paintings were heightened and clearer and more beautiful if you were belly-empty, hollow-hungry. I learned to understand Cezanne much better and to see truly how he made landscapes when I was hungry. I used to wonder if he were hungry too when he painted; but I thought it was possibly only that he had forgotten to eat. It was one of those unsound but illuminating thoughts you have when you have been sleepless or hungry. Later I thought Cezanne was probably hungry in a different way.”
“I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing.”
“It never occurred to me until many years later that anyone could hate anyone because they had learned to write conversation from that novel that started off with the quotation from the garage keeper.”
“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”
“It was wonderful to walk down the long flights of stairs knowing that I’d had good luck working. I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.”
“She did not like to hear really bad nor tragic things, but no one does, and having seen them I did not care to talk about them unless she wanted to know how the world was going. She wanted to know the gay part of how the world was going; never the real, never the bad.”
“For a poet he threw a very accurate milk bottle.”
“They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.”
“The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it.”
“He liked the works of his friends, which is beautiful as loyalty but can be disastrous as judgment.”
“She was angry at Ezra Pound because he had sat down too quickly on a small, fragile and, doubtless, uncomfortable chair, that it is quite possible he had been given on purpose, and had either cracked or broken it. That finished Ezra at 27 rue de Fleurus. That he was a great poet and a gentle and generous man and could have accommodated himself in a normal-size chair was not considered. The reasons for her dislike of Ezra, skillfully and maliciously put, were invented years later.”
“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.”
“I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”
“I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.”
“There is not much future in men being friends with great women although it can be pleasant enough before it gets better or worse, and there is usually even less future with truly ambitious women writers.”
“His talent was as natural as the pattern ... made by ... dust on a butterfly’s wings.”
″‘We’re always lucky,’ I said, and like a fool I did not knock on wood.”
“In those days we did not trust anyone who had not been in the war.”
“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one 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.”
“We won’t quarrel, baby. I love you too much. But don’t be a fool.”
“You don’t have to pretend you love me.” “But I do love you.”
“No, that is the great fallacy, the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.”
″[T]he night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.”
“Why, darling, I don’t live at all when I’m not with you.”
“This was a big storm and he might as well enjoy it. It was ruining everything, but you might as well enjoy it”
“For what are we born if not to aid one another?”
“He was just a coward and that was the worst luck any many could have.”
“I suppose if a man has something once, always something of it remains.”
“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be.”
“Now for every one there should be some one to whom one can speak frankly, for all the valor that one could have one becomes very alone.”
“It could not be worse,′ Passini said respectfully. “There is nothing worse than war.” “Defeat is worse.” “I do not believe it,” Passini said still respectfully. “What is defeat? You go home.”
“My life used to be full of everything. Now if you aren’t with me I haven’t a thing in the world.”
“There isn’t any me. I’m you. Don’t make up a separate me.”
“The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one?.”
“The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one?.”
“I don’t want to be your friend, baby. I am your friend.”
“‘Now I am depressed myself,’ I said. ‘That’s why I never think about these things. I never think and yet when I begin to talk I say the things I have found out in my mind without thinking.‘”
“War is not won by victory.”
“Your blood coagulates beautifully.”
“I felt very lonely when they were all there.”
“The questioners had that beautiful detachment and devotion to stern justice of men dealing in death without being in any danger of it.”
Most people were heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too.
He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy.
He is my brother. But I must kill him and keep strong to do it.
You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?
“Fish,” he said softly, aloud. “I’ll stay with you until I am dead.”
He always thought of the sea as ‘la mar’ which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as ‘el mar’ which is masculine.They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought
It is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers.
Just then the stern line came taut under his foot, where he had kept the loop of the line, and he dropped his oars and felt the weight of the small tuna’s shivering pull as he held the line firm and commenced to haul it in. The shivering increased as he pulled in and he could see the blue back of the fish in the water and the gold of his sides before he swung him over the side and into the boat. He lay in the stern in the sun, compact and bullet shaped, his big, unintelligent eyes staring as he thumped his life out against the planking of the boat with the quick shivering strokes of his neat, fast-moving tail. The old man hit him on the head for kindness and kicked him, his body still shuddering, under the shade of the stern.
Then the fish came alive, with his death in him, and rose high out of the water showing all his great length and width and all his power and his beauty. He seemed to hang in the air above the old man in the skiff. Then he fell into the water with a crash that sent spray over the old man and over all of the skiff.
All my life the early sun has hurt my eyes. Yet they are still good.

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