I finished reading The Good Life According To Hemingway by A.E. Hotchner. For an enthusiast, this book contains numerous black-and-white photos and unique quotations/witticisms that, in most cases, had never before been published. Here are a few colorful quotes:
Back in the days when American billboard advertising was in flower, there were two slogans that I always rated above all others: the old Cremo Cigar ad that proclaimed, “Spit Is a Horrid Word-but Worse on the End of Your Cigar,” and “Drink Schlitz in Brown Bottles and Avoid That Skunk Taste.” You don’t get creative writing like that anymore.
There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
I hate plays. Did you ever listen to the dialogue of a play with your eyes shut?
A book you talk about is a book you don’t write.
The only truly good novel, maybe great, to come out of World War II is The Gallery.
I say “maybe great” because who in the hell can tell? Greatness is the longest marathon ever run; many enter; few survive.
In New York birds fly, but they are not serious about it. They don’t climb.
The only two I could sit through were The Killers and To Have and Have Not -- I guess Ava Gardner and Lauren Bacall had a lot to do with it.
I read about the movie version of The Snows of Kilimanjaro and how there was only one minor alteration-the man is rescued and lives instead of dying-a very minor change, don’t you think?
Death is just another whore.
What if you can no longer measure up, no longer be involved, if you have used up all your fantasies? A champion cannot retire like anyone else. How the hell can a writer retire? The public won’t let him. When a man loses the center of his being, then he loses his being. Retire? It’s the filthiest word in the English language. It’s backing up into the grave. If I can’t exist on my own terms, then existence is impossible. That is how I have lived and must live-or not live.
The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for, and I hate very much to leave it.