Today is Ernest Hemingway’s birthday. The first Hemingway novel I read was A Farewell to Arms, and I have been reading his work and learning about his life ever since. I will include some lines from some of my favorite novels and short stories written by Hemingway to commemorate his birthday.
“There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that …of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.”
“’I am one of those who like to stay late at the café,’ the older waiter said. ‘With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.”
“All right. Have it your own way. Road to hell paved with unbought stuffed dogs. Not my fault.”
“We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright.”
“For what are we born if not to aid one another?”
“Living was a horse between your legs and a hill and a valley and a stream with trees along it and the far side of the valley and the hills beyond.”
“If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.”
“There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life. A good life is not measured by any biblical span.”
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
“It was when we had come back from Canada and while we were living in the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs and Miss Stein and I were still good friends that Miss Stein made the remark about the lost generation. She had some ignition trouble with old Model T Ford she then drove and the young man who worked in the garage and had served in the last year of the war had not been adept, or perhaps had not broken the priority of other vehicles, in repairing Miss Stein’s Ford. Perhaps he had not realized the importance of Miss Stein’s vehicle having the right immediate repair. Anyway he had not been sérieux and had been corrected severely by the patron of the garage after Miss Stein’s protest. The patron had said to him, ‘You are all a génération perdue.’ ‘That’s what you all are,’ Miss Stein said. ‘All of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation.’”
“I understand. That’s the trouble. I understand. I’ll understand all the time. All day and all night. Especially at night. I’ll understand. You don’t have to worry about that.”
"The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it."
“We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.”
"I know that 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. But with Catherine there was almost no difference in the night except that it was an even better time. If people bring so much courage to this world, the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
“After all, he said to himself, it’s probably only insomnia. Many must have it.”
“‘Isn’t it pretty to think so?’”
“To hell with them. Nothing hurts if you don’t let it.”
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
“Perhaps as you went along you did learn something. I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what it was all about.”
“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.”