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American author and journalist (1899-1961)

Any man's life, told truly, is a novel.

The world breaks everyone ... 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.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, A Farewell to Arms

Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, For Whom the Bell Tolls

All things truly wicked start from an innocence.


Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, "On the Blue Water," Esquire, Apr. 1936

One cat just leads to another.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, as quoted in Louis G. Morton's E-mail Humor

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.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1954

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, "Notes on the Next War," Esquire, Sep. 1935

You know what makes a good loser? Practice.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, as quoted by his son in Papa, a Personal Memoir

To me heaven would be a big bull ring with me holding two barrera seats and a trout stream outside that no one else was allowed to fish in and two lovely houses in the town; one where I would have my wife and children and be monogamous and love them truly and well and the other where I would have my nine beautiful mistresses on nine different floors.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, July 1, 1925

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, The Old Man and The Sea

In Europe then we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also as a great giver of happiness and well-being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary.


Ernest Hemingway quote

Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, attributed, The Grape Escapes

Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, To Have and Have Not

The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, For Whom the Bell Tolls

The great artist when he comes, uses everything that has been discovered or known about his art up to that point, being able to accept or reject in a time so short it seems that the knowledge was born with him, rather than that he takes instantly what it takes the ordinary man a lifetime to know, and then the great artist goes beyond what has been done or known and makes something of his own.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Death in the Afternoon

God knows, people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp-following eunuchs of literature.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, letter to Sherwood Anderson, May 23, 1925

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, The Paris Review, spring 1958

Every day above earth is a good day.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, The Old Man and the Sea

Life isn't hard to manage when you've nothing to lose.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, A Farewell to Arms

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.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, "Notes on the Next War," Esquire, Sep. 1935

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.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Nobel Prize speech, Dec. 10, 1954

It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.


In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, preface, The First Forty-Nine Stories

Life isn't hard to manage when you've nothing to lose.

Being against evil doesn't make you good.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Islands in the Stream

All our words from loose using have lost their edge.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Death in the Afternoon

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, New York Journal-American, Jul. 11, 1961

When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, True at First Light

The things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, A Farewell to Arms

My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, letter, May 15, 1925

All the critics who could not make their reputations by discovering you are hoping to make them by predicting hopefully your approaching impotence, failure and general drying up of natural juices.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, "A Letter from Cuba," Esquire, Dec. 1934

I rewrote the ending to Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, The Paris Review, spring 1958

No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, A Farewell to Arms

No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it's not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, "Notes on the Next War," Esquire, Sep. 1935

All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Death in the Afternoon

Grace under pressure.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Apr. 20, 1926

Wearing down seven number-two pencils is a good day’s work.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, The Paris Review, spring 1958


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