Ernest Hemingway Quotes 1–30 of 242 Quotes

Ernest Miller Hemingway (21 July 1899 – 2 July 1961) was an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

Below are 30 of 242 sourced Ernest Hemingway quotes. Sources and related information appear under each quote. Use the 'Cite this quote' link to get citation references.

“And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Quote source: Letter to his family (18 October 1918); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker. It was also published in The Oak Parker (Oak Park, IL) on 16 November 1918. Only 19 years old at the time, Hemingway was recovering from wounds suffered at the front line while serving as a Red Cross volunteer.

“Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels built on the cuckoo clock style of architecture.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#2

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Quote source: The Toronto Star Weekly (4 March 1922)

“Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#3

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Quote source: "Trout Fishing in Europe" The Toronto Star Weekly (17 November 1923)

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

— Ernest Hemingway

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Quote source: Letter (6 December 1924); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“The age demanded that we dance And jammed us into iron pants. And in the end the age was handed The sort of shit that it demanded.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#5

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#5

Quote source: "The Age Demanded" in Der Querschnitt (February 1925); as quoted in Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation (1983) by Noel Riley Fitch

“My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#6

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Quote source: Letter (15 May 1925); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“God knows, people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp-following eunuchs of literature. They won't even whore. They're all virtuous and sterile. And how well meaning and high minded. But they're all camp-followers.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#7

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Quote source: Letter to Sherwood Anderson (23 May 1925); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“I wonder what your idea of heaven would be — A beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists. All powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death. And hell would probably an ugly vacuum full of poor polygamists unable to obtain booze or with chronic stomach disorders that they called secret sorrows.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#8

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#8

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Quote source: Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1 July 1925); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“That Muretto di Alassio by Mario Berrino is a beautiful color film.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#9

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#9

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#9

Quote source: Domenica del Corriere, 1973

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“Write me at the Hotel Quintana, Pamplona, Spain. Or don't you like to write letters. I do because it's such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#11

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#11

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#11

Quote source: Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1 July 1925); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Quote source: About his book, The Sun Also Rises in a letter (21 August 1926); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“In the fall the war was always there but we did not go to it any more.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#13

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Quote source: "In Another Country" in Men Without Women (1927).

“‘It’s his sense of self-preservation.’ ‘The great Italian sense.’ ‘The greatest Italian sense.’”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#14

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Quote source: "Che ti dice la Patria?" in Men Without Women (1927)

“Well, Fitz, I looked all through that bible, it was in very fine print and stumbling on that great book Ecclesiastics, read it aloud to all who would listen. Soon I was alone and began cursing the bloody bible because there were no titles in it — although I found the source of practically every good title you ever heard of. But the boys, principally Kipling, had been there before me and swiped all the good ones so I called the book Men Without Women hoping it would have a large sale among the fairies and old Vassar Girls.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#15

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Quote source: Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (15 September 1927); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life — and one is as good as the other.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Quote source: Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (4 September 1929); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Quote source: Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (13 September 1929); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“Grace under pressure”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#18

Quote source: Hemingway's famous phrase in a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (20 April 1926), published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker. In the letter, he wrote that he was "not referring to guts but to something else." The phrase was later used by Dorothy Parker in a profile of Hemingway, "The Artist's Reward," in the New Yorker (30 November 1929)

“I've been in love (truly) with five women, the Spanish Republic and the 4th Infantry Division.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#19

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#19

Quote source: Letter to Marlene Dietrich (1 July 1930)

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“When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#21

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#21

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#21

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#21

Quote source: Nick Adams of "Fathers and Sons" in Winner Take Nothing (1932)

“Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#22

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#22

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#22

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#22

Quote source: The old waiter of "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" in Winner Take Nothing (1932)

“That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best — make it all up — but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#23

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#23

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#23

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#23

Quote source: Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (28 May 1934); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“Here is the piece. If you can't say fornicate can you say copulate or if not that can you say co-habit? If not that would have to say consummate I suppose. Use your own good taste and judgment.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#24

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#24

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#24

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#24

Quote source: Letter to Esquire editor Arnold Gingrich (11 April 1935); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“Don't you drink? I notice you speak slightingly of the bottle. I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure. When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky? When you are cold and wet what else can warm you? Before an attack who can say anything that gives you the momentary well-being that rum does?... The only time it isn't good for you is when you write or when you fight. You have to do that cold. But it always helps my shooting. Modern life, too, is often a mechanical oppression and liquor is the only mechanical relief.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#25

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#25

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#25

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#25

Quote source: Postscript to letter to critic, poet and translator Ivan Kashkin (19 August 1935); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“I've seen a lot of patriots and they all died just like anybody else if it hurt bad enough and once they were dead their patriotism was only good for legends; it was bad for their prose and made them write bad poetry. If you are going to be a great patriot, i.e., loyal to any existing order of government (not one who wishes to destroy the existing for something better), you want to be killed early if your life and works won't stink.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#26

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#26

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#26

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#26

Quote source: Letter (12 January 1936); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker

“Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called by the Masai "Ngàje Ngài," the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#27

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#27

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#27

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#27

Quote source: "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," first published in Esquire (August 1936); later published in The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938)

“However you make your living is where your talent lies.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#28

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#28

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#28

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#28

Quote source: "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," first published in Esquire (August 1936); later published in The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938)

“The rich were dull and they drank too much or they played too much backgammon. They were dull and they were repetitious. He remembered poor Julian and his romantic awe of them and how he had started a story once that began, "The very rich are different from you and me." And how someone had said to Julian, "Yes, they have more money."”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#29

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#29

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#29

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html#29

Quote source: "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," first published in Esquire (August 1936); later published in The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938). Originally in Esquire "Julian" was named as F. Scott Fitzgerald, who, in "The Rich Boy" (1926) had written: "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand..." Fitzgerald responded to this in a letter (August 1936) to Hemingway saying: "Riches have never fascinated me, unless combined with the greatest charm or distinction."

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Heminway, Ernest (2021, August 5) Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html

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Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html

MLA Citation: Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Heminway, Ernest. “Ernest Hemingway Quotes: 1–30 of 242 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Ernest-Hemingway-quotes.html

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