Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Most popular Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Grace under pressure.
— Ernest Hemingway guts

grace

Write drunk; edit sober.
— Ernest Hemingway

writing advice

Man is not made for defeat.
— Ernest Hemingway

mankind losing

Never mistake motion for action.
— Ernest Hemingway

action

Easy writing makes hard reading.
— Ernest Hemingway
Courage is grace under pressure.
— Ernest Hemingway

courage

The rich are different—they have more money.
— Ernest Hemingway

wealth

I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.
— Ernest Hemingway
Retirement is the filthiest word in the language.

retirement

The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.
— Ernest Hemingway
The way to make people trust-worthy is to trust them.
— Ernest Hemingway

trust

Some people show evil as a great racehorse shows breeding.

evil

All things to be truly wicked must start from an innocence.

innocence

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.

intelligence happiness

If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
— Ernest Hemingway

love relationships cynical

The way to learn whether a person is trustworthy is to trust him.
— Ernest Hemingway

other people trust

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.

prose

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
— Ernest Hemingway
"But man is not made for defeat," he said.  "A man can be destroyed but not defeated."

defeat

What is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
— Ernest Hemingway
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
— Ernest Hemingway

drinking

People who write fiction, if they had not taken it up, might have become very successful liars.
— Ernest Hemingway

writers

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
— Ernest Hemingway
One of the difficulties in the language is that all our words from loose use have lost their edge.
— Ernest Hemingway
It was a very Corsican wine and you could dilute it by half with water and still receive its message.

wine

They can't yank novelist like they can pitcher.  Novelist has to go the full nine, even if it kills him.

novelists

When people talk listen completely. Don't be thinking what you're going to say. Most people never listen.
— Ernest Hemingway

listening

We must all be cut out for what we do, he thought.  However you make your living is where your talent lies.

talent

When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.
— Ernest Hemingway
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.
— Ernest Hemingway

morals

Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.

cowardice

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.

fishing

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.

ideas

Politics I would rather not be quoted on. All the contact I have had with it has left me feeling as though I had been drinking out of spittoons.

politics

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.
— Ernest Hemingway

writing advice

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.

writers

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.

editors

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.

writing writing advice

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.

columnists

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 upon what you do today.
— Ernest Hemingway

motivational present moment today

I might say that what amateurs call a style is usually only the unavoidable awkwardnesses in first trying to make something that has not heretofore been made.

style

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.
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.

heaven

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry: Worry never fixes anything.
— Ernest Hemingway

worry

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.

punctuation

I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it underwater for every part that shows. Anything you know, you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg.

writing advice

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.

widow

I had learned already 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.

writing advice

The parody is the last refuge of the frustrated writer. Parodies are what you write when you are associate editor of the Harvard Lampoon. The greater the work of literature, the easier the parody. The step up from writing parodies is writing on the wall above the urinal.

parody

I started out very quiet and I beat Mr. Turgenev. Then I trained hard and I beat Mr. de Maupassant. I've fought two draws with Mr. Stendhal, and I think I had an edge in the last one. But nobody's going to get me in any ring with Mr. Tolstoy unless I'm crazy or I keep getting better.
I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced ...the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always.

writing