Talk:Ernest Hemingway

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Lose It If You Talk About It


A great Hemingway quote is "You lose it if you talk about it," but I'm not sure exactly where this is from.. does anyone know for sure?

It's from Hemingway's short story, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." The exact quote is: "Doesn't do to talk too much about all this. Talk the whole thing away. No pleasure in anything if you mouth it up too much." The hunting guide, Wilson, is explaining to Macomber how talk lessens the excitement of going into the brush to finish off the buffalo Macomber has shot. In a larger sense Macomber is lessening the excitement of overcoming his cowardice, specifically towards his wife.

Nononono it's from The Sun Also Rises, friend. Jake Barnes says it. Come on now.

Islands In The Stream Quotes


I'm currently reading Islands In The Stream and found what I thought were several quotable [or at least, more quotable than the rest which I am enjoying immensely] lines:

"Being against evil doesn't make you good. Tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself. I could feel it coming just like a tide... I just want to destroy them. But when you start taking pleasure in it you are awfully close to the thing you're fighting." - page 40 & 41 of Section I [Bimini]

"Happiness is often presented as being very dull but, he thought, lying awake, that is because dull people are sometimes very happy and intelligent people can and do go around making themselves and everyone else miserable." - page 84, ibid.

"He had not slept with the Princess on the ship although by the time they had reached Haifa they had done so many other things that they had both reached a sort of ecstasy of desperation that was so intense that they should have been required by law to sleep with each other until they could not stand it another time simply for the relief of their nerves, if for no other reason." - page 84 of section II [Cuba].

I'm very inexperienced with Wiki's so I thought it'd be best if I just added them here for someone more experienced to decide whether they should go on the article page or not. -- ZDavies 21:47, 8 April 2006 (UTC)Reply

Some quotes I can't find


They may be misattributed. Perhaps someone knows them.

In Jarhead one of the characters says "We burn the fat off our souls. Hemingway said that." From "Snows of Kilimanjaro." This is also the title to a poem by Grahm Wolfe

This quote has been erroneously credited to Hemingway: "I can't trust a man who doesn't drink, because a man who doesn't drink doesn't trust himself.", when it was James Crumley in his book The Wrong Case (1975) who wrote it.

As regards the Hemingway quote, I think it's from "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" but the quote is actually to do with a character wanting to work the fat off his soul the way a fighter worked and trained the fat off his body. I could be wrong though. Solomon

Yes, from The Snows of Kilimanjaro: "There was no hardship; but there was no luxury and he had thought that he could get back into training that way. That in some way he could work the fat off his soul the way a fighter went into the mountains to work and train in order to burn it out of his body." Strohs

Someone asked where "You lose it if you talk about it," came from. It is a recurring theme in his work. The not-uncommon idea of a central character in a Hemingway story being tremendously defined by a terrible pain, injury, or experience which they carried silently. Like in The Sun Also Rises where the man has lost his arm and so little is said of it. Or the knife-fight on the boat-docks. Another example is a series of small disconnected paragraphs about the war used in front the of title pages (including the below which was in front of CH VII Soldiers Home) in his book of complete short stories.

"While the bombardment was knocking the trench to pieces at Fossalta, he lay very flat and sweated and prayed oh jesus christ get me out of here. Dear jesus please get me out. Christ please please please christ. If you'll only keep me from getting killed I'll do anything you say. I believe in you and I'll tell every one in the world that you are the only one that matters. Please please dear jesus. The shelling moved further up the line. We went to work on the trench and in the morning the sun came up and the day was hot and muggy and cheerful and quiet. The next night back at Mestre he did not tell the girl he went upstairs with at the Villa Rossa about Jesus. And he never told anyone."

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."


This is from The Garden of Eden, just after the couple have met her, talking about her friend and why she went away (I only have the MS Reader version in fromt of me so I can't make a meaningful page reference). I'm new here so I haven't removed it from the unsourced quotes but someone else might if they read this and agree.


  • The truth has a certain ring to it.
  • 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.
  • Even when I was in a crowd, I was always alone.
  • Modern life is too often a mechanical oppression and liquor provides the only mechanical relief.
  • The first draft of anything is shit.
  • There are only three sports; car racing, bull fighting and mountain climbing. The rest are mere games.
  • Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife underhand into the piano.
  • There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. Ernest Hemingway, "On the Blue Water," Esquire, April 1936 US author & journalist (1899 - 1961)
  • (On seeing a Spanish Government aeroplane bomb a bridge teeming with fleeing civilians from a hillside above the city) "Never put all your Basques in one exit."
  • It is not difficult to write a novel, all you have to do is to sit down at a typewriter and cut open a vein.
  • Write drunk; edit sober. (e.g. [1]) I did only a quick search, no credible source found - yet.
Just found something that might be helpful:
“Write drunk, edit sober” sounds good, but the problem is that it’s not by Hemingway. The quote is all over the internet being attributed to EH, but no one ever gives a source in Hemingway’s works or conversations. This is because the quote is almost certainly by a novelist called Peter De Vries. He published a novel called “Reuben, Reuben” in 1964, where the main character is based on a famous drunkard poet, Dylan Thomas. On page 242 the character says this: “Sometimes I write drunk and revise sober, and sometimes I write sober and revise drunk. But you have to have both elements in creation — the Apollonian and the Dionysian, or spontaneity and restraint, emotion and discipline.”
Hopes this help settle the issue Westley Turner (talk) 18:54, 30 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Attributed several times to Mr. Hemingway, but never with a proper source.

The Sun Also Rises


'How did you go bankrupt?' Bill asked. 'Two ways,' Mike said. 'Gradually and then suddenly.' [no signature]

I did a search at and I can't find this one in that book. Nor can I find "It occurs first very slowly, then all at once." Perhaps this quote is an urban legend? 12:43, 8 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
Never mind, I found it. (I think the google books page doesn't search the entire work.) 13:08, 8 April 2013 (UTC)Reply

Dead dog with blood oozing out of the carcass redundant here.


The dead dog's picture is extreme graphic and unsuitable for the topic. Please remove it. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

The image of the dead dog is entirely appropriate to accompany Hemingway's statement from "Notes on the Next War" (1935): "They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason."
The image is obviously a disturbing one to most people, but the statement is meant to be a disturbing one as well, and one whose point should not to be swept away or diluted by a failure to consider many aspects of what such a statement means or implies about modern warfare and the effects it has on humanity in either promoting it or accepting it, and some aspects of the actual results. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 15:22, 16 December 2011 (UTC)Reply

I completely agree. The photo is sad but true and fair. If you don't have problems with Hemingway's writing, than this shouldn't feel out of place.

So should we replace it with a picture of a tortured bull? Because, Hemingway wrote way more words about bulls (and steers) than dogs. Dogs almost non-existent in Hemingway (find me one!) More frequent than dogs are dead and blown-up H. sapiens. That would be more accurate 02:42, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Just because there's a line about a dead dog doesn't mean there needs to be an image of a dead dog; not all readers of Hemingway enjoy him for the morbidity—and really the line isn't *about* a dog, but using it as a simile, so as he's not actually describing a dead dog, but how a human will die in modern war, then the use of such an image is random and inappropriate. Furthermore maybe the image is "true and fair," but people don't come to the Hemingway wiki site to see pictures of dead animals. Other pictures, less graphic or controversial, and more helpful, and more relevant, would be better. Hemingway has a lot of types of statements in his books, so to choose an image that is disturbing and then justifying its use because Hemingway is sometimes "disturbing" is only a matter of interpretation, and a limited one at that. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
Hemingway's statement is a harsh one, and the image is appropriately harsh, and I believe his statement, the image, and the statement I made in December 2011 still hold up well: "The image is obviously a disturbing one to most people, but the statement is meant to be a disturbing one as well, and one whose point should not to be swept away or diluted by a failure to consider many aspects of what such a statement means or implies about modern warfare and the effects it has on humanity in either promoting it or accepting it, and some aspects of the actual results." ~ Kalki·· 09:12, 15 June 2014 (UTC)Reply

I find it entirely ironic that throughout Hemingway's literary career he constantly strived to present the reader with the stark realism of human existence, the unfeeling stoicism of the universe, and the unfiltered reality of this world, only to have people come to a web page about him and his works to complain about having to deal with a photo that represents exactly the reality he worked so hard to adequately express. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

I think the image's reflection of reality, or disturbing nature, or whatever subjective aspect you want to attribute to it, is irrelevant. It doesn't have much to do with what Hemmingway is talking about. He's talking about the horrors of WWI/modern war. A modern picture of a dead dog only shares a word from his simile. It's missing the point. I have no issue with disturbing images, I do have an issue with the relationship of the image to the quote. It's unrelated to the context or meaning of what Hemmingway was talking about. I'd recommend somehting like

as a replacement. It is no less disturbing, and more specific to what Hemmingway was talking dying in unromantic ways during the war. If there's no opposition to this, I will edit it. 14:56, 7 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

I've hear this attribitued to Hemingway, I don't know if it's legit


"Critics are men who watch the battle from a high place, then come down and shoot the survivors."
If it is and someone can source it, I don't think that it's on the page.
Thank you

  • [During his show interview, Whitney Cummings] loves [and repeated] this quote she read [to Howard Stern]: "Critics are the people that go to the battle site after the war has been won and then they shoot the survivors."[1]
  • “Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors.”—Hemingway. and “without some negative feedback, without criticism, the local burlesque bubble is destined to burst.”—Dan Savage[2]

In every port in the world, at least two Estonians can be found


So what are the rules concerning using bold for quotes? Does that mean they are actually paraphrasings? Since the actual quote is something different: "...yacht with two of the three hundred and twenty-four Esthonians(sic) who were sailing around in different parts of the world, in boats between 28 and 36 feet long and sending back articles to the Esthonian newspapers... No well-run yacht basin in Southern waters is complete without at least two sunburned, salt bleach-headed Esthonians..."

This anomaly now fixed. 22:48, 22 February 2016 (UTC)Reply

Hemingway Hero: "A man who lives correctly..."


Does anyone know the source of this quote? I see it all over the internet with claims that Hemingway was describing the typical "Hemingway Hero." I haven't been able to verify it. Here is the full quote: "a man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful."



Does anyone know which book this quote came from?

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Supposedly from one of the many letters of his that have surfaced since his death.

Answer: This is a popular misquote. The real quote is: "The way to make people trust-worthy is to trust them." It is found in the book "Ernest Hemingway Selected Letters 1917-1961", edited by Carlos Baker. In the letter to Dorothy Connable he was warning her about Charles Fenton, who spread misinformation about Hemingway's life. The above quote is immediately followed by, "But this man is not a person that works with that system."

Quotes about the soviet union


  • Twenty-four years of discipline and labor have created an eternal glory, the name of which is the Red Army. Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid. But we can declare that the Soviet Union will receive the arms, money, and provisions it needs. Anyone who fulminates against Hitler should consider the Red Army a heroic model which must be imitated.
  • In 1942 you saved the world from the forces of barbarity, offering resistance alone, almost without help.
  • At the end of the year our first efforts in Africa were launched. This is a symbol of a promise. Every able man in America will work and fight, together with the workers and peasants of the Soviet Union, for our common cause--the complete obliteration of fascism from the world and the guarantee of freedom, peace, and justice for all people.

SpanishSnake (talk) 01:08, 10 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

  1. Howard Stern TV Hottest Chick Contest [w- Whitney Cummings Full Video]. Stern Tv (2015-06-09). Retrieved on 2016-07-19. from 25 minutes 30 seconds to 25 minutes 36 seconds
  2. Shooting the Survivors: a Guide to Giving and Taking Constructive Criticism. Definitely Not Dita (2010-07-14). Retrieved on 2016-07-19.