- Birthday, Books, Quotes, Reading, Writing

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

 

Happy birthday, Ernest Hemingway! Here are some quotes from the writer.

“All good books have one thing in common—they are truer than if they had really happened.”

“Never confuse movement with action.”

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

“You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or rather you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love.”

“For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.”

“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.”

“You shouldn’t write if you can’t write.”

“And this too, remember: 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.”

“All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.”

“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.”

“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.”

“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.”

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

“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.”

“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.”

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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