If Hemingway Tweeted

Photo from JFK Presidential Library
Released to Public Domain

I’ve had real fun on Amaze-ing Words Wednesday with the If ___ Tweeted. Thus far, we’ve looked at If Twain Tweeted, If Churchill Tweeted, and If Plato Tweeted. Today, however, I was inspired by Kristen Lamb’s awesome post on Would Hemingway Blog? The short answer is “Why, yes! Yes, he would.” But there is far more to Kristen’s post so be sure to head over there.

Here on my blog, though, we’re going to look at if author Ernest Hemingway tweeted, what would he say? I have a confession, however. I don’t like Hemingway! I have tried to read a couple of his novels and did not complete them. That said, I know the author is an icon, and he did say some pretty cool stuff. So whether you love to devour his novels or prefer, like me, to bypass his fiction and just get to the tweet-sized stuff, here are some of Hemingway’s best quotes–at 140 characters or less.

1. Courage is grace under pressure.

2. There is no friend as loyal as a book.

3. I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

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

5. For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.

6. I’m not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.

7. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics. 

8. For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment.

9. You know what makes a good loser? Practice.

10. All our words from loose using have lost their edge.

11. Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

12. All good books have one thing in common in that they are truer than if they had really happened…

13. 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.

14. My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible.

15. Being against evil doesn’t make you good.

16. God knows, people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp-following eunuchs of literature.

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

18. I rewrote the ending to Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.

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

20. Gertrude Stein and me are just like brothers.

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

22. You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you.

23. It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

24. Death is like an old whore in a bar–I’ll buy her a drink but I won’t go upstairs with her.

And finally a BONUS quote! Although it was not used, Papa Hemingway suggested this quote for his tombstone:

25. Pardon me for not getting up.

So what are your favorites from the above? Are you a Hemingway fan? Do you have any others from him to add? (Yes, I did leave out the famous “first draft” one!)

Sources: Brainy Quote; Notable Quotes; Christian Science Monitor; The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park; Schmoop; Writer’s Digest; Huffington Post; National Endowment for the Arts; Hemingway Preservation Foundation; San Francisco Chronicle; The Art of Manliness; IMDB; The Telegraph; Wikiquote; About.com; Paris Review (great interview with Hemingway!)

*Note: Why so many sources? Because I try to find at least two reputable sources for each quote. All too often, a quote gets thrown around the Internet attributed to someone who never said it. I try to be diligent, but if you catch a mistake, let me know.

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10 thoughts on “If Hemingway Tweeted

  1. “Pardon me for not getting up” – the one quote I’ve actually heard before, otherwise the others were new to me and pretty darn good. I enjoyed: “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.” That’s really a good one.

  2. He was a fascinating man. My husband and I recently saw a movie about him and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn (Hemingway & Gellhorn)–it was very interesting. I can’t imagine writing a novel on a typewriter–sheesh. I think he was the one who used a “sh*t meter” when he edited to cut the little darlings. If he really liked it, it had to go.
    Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I’ve never read Hemingway nor have I tried. I liked:

    13. 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.

    15. Being against evil doesn’t make you good.

    18. I rewrote the ending to Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied. That one gives me hope. 🙂

    and the last one (25). Pardon me for not getting up.

    Thanks for a great post.

    .

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