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.
Most people were heartless about turtles because a turtle's heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too.
I am always in love.
I kissed her hard and held her tight and tried to open her lips; they were closed tight.
A writer should be of as great probity and honesty as a priest of God. He is either honest or not, as a woman is either chaste or not, and after one piece of dishonest writing he is never the same again.
It's a town you come to for a short time.
Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry: Worry never fixes anything.
In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die.
Humility is not disgraceful, and carries no loss of true pride.
A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.
Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.
The only kind of writing is rewriting.
Until you're grown-up they send you to reform school. After you're grown-up they send you to the penitentiary.
I had an inheritance from my father,
It was the moon and the sun.
And though I roam all over the world,
The spending of it's never done.
I regarded home as a place I left behind in order to come back to it afterward.
You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.
Oh, darling, I've been so miserable.
The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.
I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
Write drunk; edit sober.
In order to write about life first you must live it.
Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.
People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
It is one thing to be in the proximity of death, to know more or less what she is, and it is quite another thing to seek her.
I didn't want to kiss you goodbye -- that was the trouble -- I wanted to kiss you good night -- and there's a lot of difference.
Love is something that hangs up behind the bathroom door and smells of Lysol.
Night is always darker before the dawn and life is the same, the hard times will pass, everything will get better and sun will shine brighter than ever.
I drink to make other people more interesting.
As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it -- don't cheat with it.
It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
The first draft of everything is shit.
All bad writers are in love with the epic.
All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.
Life is pain, so live it up while you can.
All a man has is pride. Sometimes you have it so much it is a sin. We have all done things for pride that we knew were impossible. We didn't care. But a man must implement his pride with intelligence and care.
Night is always darker before the dawn and life is the same, the hard times will pass, every thing will get better and sun will shine brighter than ever.
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.
My writing is nothing, my boxing is everything.
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don't cheat with it.
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.
A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
Wars are caused by undefended wealth.
Personal columnists are jackals and no jackal has been known to live on grass once he had learned about meat -- no matter who killed the meat for him.
No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. It can impose a solution but it cannot guarantee it to be a just one.
All good books have one thing in common -- they are truer than if they had really happened.
Time is the least thing we have of.
Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.
Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.
On the 'Star,' you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone. Newspaper work will not harm a young writer and could help him if he gets out of it in time.
All things truly wicked start from innocence.
In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason.
You're beautiful, like a May fly.
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.
There is no friend as loyal as a book.
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.
A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
All our words from loose using have lost their edge.
Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts.
It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.
If you have a success you have it for the wrong reasons. If you become popular it is always because of the worst aspects of your work.
Cowardice... is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.
A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
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.
They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.
All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
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.
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
Courage is grace under pressure.
When I have an idea, I turn down the flame, as if it were a little alcohol stove, as low as it will go. Then it explodes and that is my idea.
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.
Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.
An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.
There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself.