Paul: Nostalgia is denial, denial of the painful present.
Inez: Oh, well Gil is a complete romantic. I mean he would be completely happy to live in a perpetual state of denial.
Paul: And the name of this fallacy is golden-age thinking.
Paul: The erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in. It’s a flaw in the romantic’s imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.
Zelda Fitzgerald: I know, I could be one of the great writers of musical lyrics, not that I can write melodies and I try. And then I hear the songs he writes and I realize I’ll never write a great lyric and my real talent lies in drinking.
Hemingway: Yes, it was a good book because it was an honest book and that’s what war does to men and there’s nothing fine and noble about dying in the mud unless you die gracefully and then it’s not only noble but brave.
Zelda Fitzgerald: Did you read my story? What’d you think?
Hemingway: There was some fine writing in it but it was unfulfilled.
Zelda Fitzgerald: I might have known you’d hate it.
Gil: Hi Mr. Hemingway.
Ernest Hemingway: The assignment was to take the hill. There were four of us, five if you counted Vicente, but he had lost his hand when a grenade went off and couldn't fight as could when I first met him. And he was young and brave, and the hill was soggy from days of rain. And it sloped down toward a road and there were many German soldiers on the road. And the idea was to aim for the first group, and if our aim was true we could delay them.
Gil: Were you scared?
Ernest Hemingway: Of what?
Gil: Of getting killed.
Ernest Hemingway: You'll never write well if you fear dying. Do you?
Gil: Yeah, I do. I'd say probably, might be my greatest fear actually.
Ernest Hemingway: It's something all men before you have done, all men will do.
Gil: I know, I know.
Ernest Hemingway: Have you ever made love to a truly great woman?
Gil: Actually, my fiancé is pretty sexy.
Ernest Hemingway: And when you make love to her you feel true and beautiful passion. And you for at least that moment lose your fear of death.
Gil: No, that doesn't happen.
Ernest Hemingway: I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving, or not loving well, which is the same thing. And when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face like some rhino hunters I know, or Belmonte, who's truly brave. It is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds, until it returns as it does to all men. And then you must make really good love again. Think about it.
Hemingway: She’ll drive you crazy this woman [Zelda Fitzgerald].
F. Scott Fitzgerald: She’s exciting and she has talent.
Hemingway: This month it’s writing, last month it was something else. You’re a writer, you need time to write, not all this fooling around. She’s wasting you because she’s really a competitor. Don’t you agree?
Hemingway: Speak up for chrissake. I am asking, do you think my friend is making a tragic mistake?
Gil: I actually don’t know the Fitzgeralds that well.
Hemingway: You’re a writer. You make observations. You were with them all night.
F. Scott Fizgerald: Can we not discuss my personal life in public?
Hemingway: She’s jealous of his gift and it’s a fine gift, it’s rare. You like his work? You can speak freely.
Hemingway: You writing?
Gil: A novel.
Hemingway: About what?
Gil: It’s about a um…a man who works in a nostalgia shop.
Hemingway: What the hell is a nostalgia shop?
Gil: Y’know, a place where they sell old things, memorabilia. And, does that sound terrible?
Hemingway: No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.
Gil: Can I ask you the biggest favor in the world?
Hemingway: What is it?
Gil: Would you read it?
Hemingway: Your novel?
Gil: Yah, it’s like 400 pages long and I’m just looking for an opinion.
Hemingway: My opinion is that I hate it.
Gil: You haven’t even read it yet.
Hemingway: If it’s bad because I hate bad writing. If it’s good I’ll be envious and I’ll hate it all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.