100 Quotes by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, an American novelist and short story writer, is a literary giant whose writing style and themes have had a profound impact on 20th-century literature. Known for his concise and direct prose, Hemingway's writing is characterized by its economy of words, understated emotion, and focus on the "iceberg theory" of storytelling—conveying deeper meanings beneath the surface of the text.

His novels, including "The Old Man and the Sea," "A Farewell to Arms," and "The Sun Also Rises," often explore themes of masculinity, war, love, and the human struggle. Hemingway's experiences as a journalist and ambulance driver during World War I greatly influenced his writing, infusing his work with a sense of realism and authenticity. His impact on modern literature is immeasurable, and his legacy continues to inspire writers and readers alike.

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Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it. (Meaning)

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know? (Quote Meaning)

All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened. (Meaning)

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. (Quote Meaning)

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. (Meaning)

The first draft of anything is shit. (Quote Meaning)

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. (Meaning)

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

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.

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

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.

Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors.

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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.

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. (Meaning)

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. (Quote Meaning)

I drink to make other people more interesting. (Meaning)

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. (Quote Meaning)

I love you for all that you are, all that you have been, all that you're yet to be.

Being against evil doesn't make you good.

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self. (Meaning)

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

War is no longer made by simply analyzed economic forces if it ever was. War is made or planned now by individual men, demagogues and dictators who play on the patriotism of their people to mislead them into a belief in the great fallacy of war when all their vaunted reforms have failed to satisfy the people they misrule.

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

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. (Quote Meaning)

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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. (Meaning)

Courage is grace under pressure. (Quote Meaning)

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.

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. (Meaning)

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.

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

You may talk. And I may listen. And miracles might happen.

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.

There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.

Never mistake motion for action.

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

Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports... all the others are games.

America is the land of wide lawns and narrow minds.

To hell with them. Nothing hurts if you don't let it.

we would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright.

Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.

You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.

Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.

Develop a built-in bullshit detector.

No animal has more liberty than the cat, but it buries the mess it makes. The cat is the best anarchist.

Night is always darker before the dawn and life is the same, the hard times will pass, every thing will get better and sun will shine brighter then ever.

We're stronger in the places that we've been broken.

Fascism is a lie told by bullies.

I know the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.

Night life is when everybody says what the hell and you do not remember who paid the bill.

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

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 that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.

There is no such thing as great writing - there is only great re-writing!

Look at things and listen and feel.

Being against evil doesn't make you good.

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

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

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

I’m not brave any more darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me.

Show the readers everything, tell them nothing.

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

All thinking men are atheists.

Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. (Meaning)

We wait always for something that does not come.

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.

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.

Never confuse movement with action. (Quote Meaning)

No one you love is ever truly lost.

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.

You must be prepared to work always without applause.

Religion is the opium of the poor.

The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.

The world breaks everyone or nearly everyone, of their childish illusions, assumptions and wishes, often painfully and afterwards due to the personal growth in practical experience, insight and the resulting wisdom many are strong at the broken places just like mended broken bones often are, and some people even have the great insight to be grateful for the purifying fire.

Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

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

Remember everything is right until it's wrong. You'll know when it's wrong.

Write drunk; edit sober.

The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one. The man who first said that was probably a coward. He knew a great deal about cowards but nothing about the brave. The brave dies perhaps two thousand deaths if he's intelligent. He simply doesn't mention them.

In order to write about life first you must live it. (Meaning)

The sea is the same as it has been since before men ever went on it in boats.

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

you can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. (Quote Meaning)

Don't you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you're not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you've lived nearly half the time you have to live already?

Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth. (Meaning)

All cowardice comes from not truly loving, or at least, not loving well.

They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.

To be successful in writing, use short sentences.

Any man's life, told truly, is a novel.

Every day above earth is a good day.

You cannot stop trusting people in life but I have learned to be a little bit careful. The way to make people trust-worthy is to trust them.

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. (Quote Meaning)

There are worse places to be than on your own.

One cat just leads to another.

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

No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.

Everything is your fault if you're any damn good.

Most people never listen.

There is no friend as loyal as a book. (Meaning)

The only decent bone in her body was mine.

How little we know of what there is to know.

where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to go.

The best ammunition against lies is the truth, there is no ammunition against gossip. It is like a fog and the clear wind blows it away and the sun burns it off.

No one ever stopped when they were winning.

Retirement is the ugliest word in the language.

Once in Africa I lost the corkscrew and we were forced to live off food and water for weeks.

But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. (Quote Meaning)

When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve.

A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.

Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?

To be able to say: I loved this person, we had a hell of a nice time together, it's over but in a way it will never be over and I do know that I for sure loved this person, to be able to say that and mean it, that's rare. That's rare and valuable.

I didn't want to kiss you goodbye — that was the trouble — I wanted to kiss you good night — and there's a lot of difference.

Life breaks all of us but some of us get stronger in the broken places.

Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.

The shortest answer is doing the thing.

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.

Why do old men wake so early? Is it to have one longer day?

There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only one you.

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.

The worst death for anyone is to lose the center of his being, the thing he really is. Retirement is the filthiest word in the language. Whether by choice or by fate, to retire from what you do - and makes you what you are - is to back up into the grave.

Man is not made for defeat.

The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing.

There are two kinds of stories, the ones you live and the ones you make up. And nobody knows the difference, and I don't ever tell which is which.

Love is infinitely more endurable than hate.

But life isn't hard to manage when you've nothing to lose.

First, there must be talent. Then there must be discipline. Then there must be and absolute conscience to prevent faking.

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 ... you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don't think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.

Be fully in the moment, open yourself to the powerful energies dancing around you.

Remember to get the weather in your damn book-weather is very important.

There isn't always an explanation for everything.

Optimism can keep a fool from accepting failure.

How did you go bankrupt?" Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.

Life breaks us all but in the end we are stronger in the broken places.

You'll lose it, if you talk about it

A big lie is more plausible than truth.

When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you. Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen to you.

Sometimes you know the story. Sometimes you make it up as you go along and have no idea how it will come out.

Everybody has something wrong with them.

Everyone my age had written a novel and I was still having difficulty writing a paragraph.

Everybody has strange things that mean things to them. You couldn't help it.

Time is the least thing we have.

Not the why but the what.

People fall in love, but have to climb out.

Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.

― Ernest Hemingway Quotes

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Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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