Wide World of Quotes > Ernest Hemingway Quotes


Ernest Hemingway
American novelist
(1899-1961)



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"
* * The Sun Also Rises (1926)

You're an expatriate. You've lost touch with the soil. You get precious.
Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death.
You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not
working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés.

-- Bill Gorton to Jake Barnes, in Book 2, Ch. 12

'You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.'
'Yes.'
'It’s sort of what we have instead of God.'

-- Lady Brett Ashley to Jake Barnes, in Book 3, Ch. 19

'Oh, Jake,' Brett said, 'we could have had such a damned good time
together.'
Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his
baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.
'Yes,' I said. 'Isn’t it pretty to think so?'

-- Book 3, Ch. 19 (the last lines of the novel)

===

* * * A Farewell to Arms (1929)

You're my religion. You're all I've got.
-- Catherine, in Ch. 18

I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious and sacrifice and
the expression in vain. We had heard them, sometimes standing in the
rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came through,
and had read them, on proclamations that were slapped up by billposters
over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing
sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the
sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with
the meat except to bury it.
-- Ch. 27

The world breaks everyone 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.
-- Ch. 34

===

* * * Death in the Afternoon (1932)

Honor to a Spaniard, no matter how dishonest, is as real a thing as
water, wine, or olive oil. There is honor among pickpockets and honor
among whores. It is simply that the standards differ.

-- Ch. 9

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.
-- Ch. 11

Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no
true-story teller who would keep that from you.
-- Ch. 11

There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which
is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the
very simplest things and because it takes a man's life to know them the
little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only
heritage he has to leave.
-- Ch. 16

==

* * Notes on the Next War (1935)

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.

==

* * For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)

What a business. You go along your whole life and they seem as though
they mean something and they always end up not meaning anything. There
was never any of what this is. You think that is one thing you will
never have. And then, on a lousy show like this, co-ordinating two
chicken-crut guerilla bands to help you blow a bridge under impossible
conditions, to abort a counter-offensive that will probably already be
started, you run into a girl like this Maria.
-- Ch. 13

'But are there not many Fascists in your country?'
'There are many who do not know they are Fascists, but will find it
out when the time comes'.
-- Ch. 16

He was just a coward and that was the worst luck any man could have.

-- Ch. 30

If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and
worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.
-- Ch 43

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. It's been that way all this year. It's been that way so many
times. All of war is that way.
-- [ref not given]

==

* * * Across the River and into the Trees (1950)

'What happens to people that love each other?'
'I suppose they have whatever they have and they are more fortunate than
others. Then one of them gets the emptiness for ever.'

-- Colonel Richard Cantwell and Renata, in Ch. 38

==

* * * The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

Every day above earth is a good day.

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 fisherman, those who used buoys as floats for their lines or had
motorboats bought when the shark lovers had 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, as
something that gave or withheld great favors. If she did wild or wicked
things, it is because she could not help them. The moon affects her as
it does a woman, he thought.

'But man is not made for defeat,' he said. 'A man can be destroyed but
not defeated.'



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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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