Famous Quotes By Ernest Hemingway


  1. A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
  2. 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.
  3. All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened.
  4. All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
  5. An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
  6. 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.
  7. Courage is grace under pressure.
  8. Cowardice... is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.
  9. 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.
  10. Ezra was right half the time, and when he was wrong, he was so wrong you were never in any doubt about it.
  11. Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.
  12. 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.
  13. For a war to be just three conditions are necessary - public authority, just cause, right motive.
  14. Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
  15. Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
  19. 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.
  20. I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
  21. I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason.
  25. It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.
  26. Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.
  27. My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
  28. Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.
  29. Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.
  30. 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.
  31. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.
  35. The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.
  36. 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.
  37. The game of golf would lose a great deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
  46. 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.
  47. Why should anybody be interested in some old man who was a failure?
  48. Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.

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