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100+ Ernest Hemingway Best Quotes

1. “Courage is grace under pressure.”

2. “Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try.”

3. “Find what gave you emotion; what the action was that gave you excitement. Then write it down making it clear so that the reader can see it too. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.”

4. “I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.”

5. “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.”

6. “No one you love is ever truly lost.”

7. “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.”

8. “Love is infinitely more endurable than hate.”

9. “You must be prepared to work always without applause.”

10. “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

11. “Anyone who says he wants to be a writer and isn’t writing, doesn’t.”

12. “My writing is nothing, my boxing is everything.”

13. “Develop a built-in bullshit detector.”

14. “All a man has is pride. Sometimes you have it so much it is a sin. We have all done things for pride that we knew were impossible. We didn’t care. But a man must implement his pride with intelligence and care.”

15. “The only thing that can ruin a good day is people.”

16. “You ought to dream. All our biggest businessmen have been dreamers.”

17. “Hunger is good discipline.”

18. “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. . . .When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have e made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”

19. “Life is pain, so live it up while you can.”

20. “The first draft of anything is sh*t.”

21. “In order to write about life first you must live it.”

22. “Work every day. No matter what has happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail.”

23. “No one ever stopped when they were winning.”

24. “War is not won by victory.”

25. “Any man’s life, told truly, is a novel.”

26. “Each day of not writing, of comfort, of being that which he despised, dulled his ability and softened his will to work so that, finally, he did no work at all.”

27. “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.”

28. “Writing is a hard business but nothing makes you feel better.”

29. “You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.”

30. “Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey.”

31. “I’m with you. No matter what else you have in your head I’m with you and I love you.”

32. “All you need to do is write truly and not care about what the fate of it is.”

33. “My only regret in life is that I did not drink more wine.”

34. “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be.”

35. “Remember everything is right until it’s wrong. You’ll know when it’s wrong.”

36. “Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.”

37. “Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

38. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

39. “If the others heard me talking out loud they would think that I am crazy. But since I am not, I do not care.”

40. “We wait always for something that does not come.”

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

42. “Intelligence is so damn rare and the people who have it often have such a bad time with it that they get bitter or propagandistic and then it’s not much use.”

43. “Everything is your fault if you’re any damn good.”

44. “The rain will stop, the night will end, the hurt will fade. Hope is never so lost that it can’t be found.”

45. “Never mistake motion for action.”

46. “Home is where the heart is, home is where the fart is. Come let us fart in the home. There is no art in a fart. Still a fart may not be artless. Let us fart and artless fart in the home.”

47. “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.”

48. “You may talk. And I may listen. And miracles might happen.”

49. “Go all the way with it. Do not back off. For once, go all the goddamn way with what matters.”

50. “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

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

52. “As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.”

53. “I drink to make other people more interesting.”

54. “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.”

55. “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.”

56. “Every day above earth is a good day.”

57. “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.”

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

59. “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.”

60. “All things truly wicked start from innocence.”

61. “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

62. “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

63. “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

64. “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

65. “I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”

66. “Cowardice… is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.”

67. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

68. “Being against evil doesn’t make you good. Tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself. I could feel it coming just like a tide… I just want to destroy them. But when you start taking pleasure in it you are awfully close to the thing you’re fighting.”

69. “An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

70. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

71. “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”

72. “I know now that there is no one thing that is true – it is all true.”

73. “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

74. “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”

75. “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”

76. “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”

77. “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

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

79. “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.”

80. “Time is the least thing we have of.”

81. “There is no such thing as great writing – there is only great re-writing!”

82. “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”

83. “The shortest answer is doing the thing.”

84. “Show the readers everything, tell them nothing.”

85. “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.”

86. “I never had to choose a subject – my subject rather chose me.”

87. “What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”

88. “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.”

89. “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”

90. “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.”

91. “All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.”

92. “Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.”

93. “A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.”

94. “All our words from loose using have lost their edge.”

95. “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.”

96. “I’m not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.”

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

98. “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.”

99. “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.”

100. “America is the land of wide lawns and narrow minds.”


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