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 :: 1898-1961, American Writer

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It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Purpose]

 

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I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Recreation]

 

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Retirement is the ugliest word in the language.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Retirement]

 

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The rich were dull and they drank too much or they played too much backgammon. They were dull and they were repetitious. He remembered poor Julian and his romantic awe of them and how he had started a story once that began, ''The very rich are different from you and me.'' And how someone had said to Julian, ''Yes, they have more money.''
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Riches]

 

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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.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Invention and Inventor]

 

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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.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Journalism and Journalists]

 

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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.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Learning]

 

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Or don't you like to write letters. I do because it's such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Letters]

 

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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.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Life and Living]

 

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I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Listening]

 

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You know lots of criticism is written by characters who are very academic and think it is a sign you are worthless if you make jokes or kid or even clown. I wouldn't kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Literary Criticism]

 

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How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Literature]

 

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Now a writer can make himself a nice career while he is alive by espousing a political cause, working for it, making a profession of believing in it, and if it wins he will be very well placed. All politics is a matter of working hard without reward, or with a living wage for a time, in the hope of booty later. A man can be a Fascist or a Communist and if his outfit gets in he can get to be an ambassador or have a million copies of his books printed by the Government or any of the other rewards the boys dream about.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Literature]

 

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The hardest thing to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject; then you have to know how to write. Both take a lifetime to learn, and anybody is cheating who takes politics as a way out. All the outs are too easy, and the thing itself is too hard to do.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Literature]

 

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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.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Literature]

 

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All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Literature]

 

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All you can be sure about in a political-minded writer is that if his work should last you will have to skip the politics when you read it. Many of the so-called politically enlisted writers change their politics frequently . Perhaps it can be respected as a form of the pursuit of happiness.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Literature]

 

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Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out himself. It is a word that fills with meaning as a bladder with air and the meaning goes out of it as quickly. It may be punctured as a bladder is punctured and patched and blown up again and if you have not had it does not exist for you. All people talk of it, but those who have had it are marked by it, and I would not wish to speak of it further since of all things it is the most ridiculous to talk of and only fools go through it many times.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Love]

 

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Only one marriage I regret. I remember after I got that marriage license I went across from the license bureau to a bar for a drink. The bartender said, ''What will you have, sir?'' And I said, ''A glass of hemlock.''
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Marriage]

 

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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.
~ Ernest Hemingway - [Modesty]

 

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