A Moveable Feast Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
A Moveable Feast A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
107,262 ratings, 4.04 average rating, 7,481 reviews
Open Preview
A Moveable Feast Quotes Showing 121-150 of 237
“If a man liked his friends' painting or writing, I thought it was probably like those people who like their families, and it was not polite to criticize them. Sometimes you can go quite a long time before you criticize families, your own or those by marriage, but it is easier with bad painters because they do not do terrible things and make intimate harm as families can do. With bad painters all you need to do is not look at them.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“All remembrance of things past is fiction.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“I even read aloud the part of the novel that I had rewritten, which is about as low as a writer can get and much more dangerous for him as a writer than glacier skiing unroped before the full winter snowfall has set over the crevices.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“That was called transplanting yourself, I thought, and it could be as necessary with people as with other sorts of growing things.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil. Then I went back to writing and I entered far into the story and was lost in it. I was writing it now and it was not writing itself and I did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where I was nor order any more rum St. James. I was tired of rum St. James without thinking about it. Then the story was finished and I was very tired. I read the last paragraph and then I looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. I hope she’s gone with a good man, I thought. But I felt sad.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“Maybe away from Paris I could write about Paris as in Paris I could write about Michigan. I did not know it was too early for that because I did not know Paris well enough. But that was how it worked out eventually. Anyway we would go if my wife wanted to, and I finished the oysters and the wine and paid my score in the café and made it the shortest way back up the Montagne Ste. Geneviève through the rain, that was now only local weather and not something that changed your life, to the flat at the top of the hill.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“My wife and I had called on Miss Stein, and she and the friend who lived with her had been very cordial and friendly and we had loved the big studio with the great paintings. It was like one of the best rooms in the finest museum except there was a big fireplace and it was warm and comfortable and they gave you good things to eat and tea and natural distilled liqueurs made from purple plums, yellow plums or wild raspberries. These were fragrant, colorless alcohols served from cut-glass carafes in small glasses and whether they were quetsche, mirabelle or framboise they all tasted like the fruits they came from, converted into a controlled fire on your tongue that warmed you and loosened your tongue. Miss Stein was very big but not tall and was heavily built like a peasant woman. She had beautiful eyes and a strong German-Jewish face that also could have been Friulano and she reminded me of a northern Italian peasant woman with her clothes, her mobile face and her lovely, thick, alive immigrant hair which she wore put up in the same way she had probably worn it in college. She talked all the time and at first it was about people and places.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“In those days there was no money to buy books. Books you borrowed from the rental library of Shakespeare and Company, which was the library and bookstore of Sylvia Beach at 12 rue de l’Odéon. On a cold windswept street, this was a lovely, warm, cheerful place with a big stove in winter, tables and shelves of books, new books in the window, and photographs on the wall of famous writers both dead and living.
The photographs all looked like snapshots and even the dead writers looked as though they had really been alive.

Sylvia had a lively, very sharply cut face, brown eyes that were as alive as a small animal’s and as gay as a young girl’s, and wavy brown hair that was brushed back from her fine forehead and cut thick below her ears and at the line of the collar of the brown velvet jacket she wore. She had pretty legs and she was kind, cheerful and interested, and loved to make jokes and gossip. No one that I ever knew was nicer to me.

I was very shy when I first went into the bookshop and I did not have enough money on me to join the rental library. She told me I could pay the deposit any time I had the money and made me out a card and said I could take as many books as I wished. There was no reason for her to trust me. She did not know me and the address I had given her, 74 rue Cardinal Lemoine, could not have been a poorer one. But she was delightful and charming and welcoming and behind her, as high as the wall and stretching out into the back room which gave onto the inner court of the building, were the shelves and shelves of the richness of the library.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“This book contains material from the remises of my memory and of my heart. Even if the one has been tampered with and the other does not exist.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“Write the truest sentence you know. Then write another."
-- Hemingway's advice to other young writers in "A Moveable Feast.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“He used the word gamut.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“I put my arm around her and felt our hearts beating through our sweaters and I brought my right hand up and felt her neck smooth and the hair thick against it under my fingers that were shaking.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“I have tried to write by the old rule that how good a book is should be judged by the man who writes it by the excellence of the material that he eliminates.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“In writing there are many secrets too. Nothing is ever lost no matter how it seems at the time and what is left out will always show and make the strength of what is left in.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“Should I pity so and so?" I asked. I gave his name but he delights so in giving it himself that I feel there is no need to give it for him.
"No. He's vicious. He's a corrupter and he's truly vicious."
"But he's supposed to be a good writer."
"He's not," she said. "He's just a showman and he corrupts for the pleasure of corruption and he leads people into other vicious practices as well.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“Ezra asked me to bring you this,' I said and handed him the jar. 'He said you would know what it was.'

He took the jar and looked at it. Then he threw it at me. It struck me on the chest or the shoulder and rolled down the stairs.

'You son of a bitch,' he said. 'You bastard.'

'Ezra said you might need it,' I said. He countered that by throwing a milk bottle.

'You are sure you don't need it?' I asked.

He threw another milk bottle. I retreated and he hit me with yet another milk bottle in the back. Then he shut the door.

I picked up the jar which was only slightly cracked and put it in my pocket.

'He did not seem to want the gift of Monsieur Pound," I said to the concierge.

'Perhaps he will be tranquil now,' she said.

'Perhaps he has some of his own,' I said.

'Poor Monsieur Dunning,' she said.

The lovers of poetry that Ezra organized rallied to Dunning's aid again eventually. My own intervention and that of the concierge had been unsuccessful. The jar of alleged opium which had been cracked I stored wrapped in waxed paper and carefully tied in one of an old pair of riding boots. When Evan Shipman and I were removing my personal effects from that apartment some years later the boots were still there but the jar was gone. I do not know why Dunning threw the milk bottles at me unless he remembered my lack of credulity the night of his first dying, or whether it was only an innate dislike of my personality. But I remember the happiness that the phrase 'Monsieur Dunning est monté sur le toit et refuse catégoriquement de descendre' gave to Evan Shipman. He believed there was something symbolic about it. I would not know. Perhaps Dunning took me for an agent of evil or of the police. I only know that Ezra tried to be kind to Dunning as he was kind to so many people and I always hoped Dunning was as fine a poet as Ezra believed him to be. For a poet he threw a very accurate milk bottle. But Ezra, who was a very good poet, played a good game of tennis too. Evan Shipman, who was a very fine poet and who truly did not care if his poems were ever published, felt that it should remain a mystery.

'We need more true mystery in our lives, Hem,' he once said to me. 'The completely unambitious writer and the really good unpublished poem are the things we lack most at this time. There is, of course, the problem of sustenance.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“There is not much future in men being friends with great women although it can be pleasant enough before it gets better or worse, and there is usually even less future with truly ambitious women writers.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“How do you tell a valuable French book?'
'First there are the pictures. Then it is a question of the quality of the pictures. Then it is the binding. If a book is good, the owner will have it bound properly. All books in English are bound, but bound badly. There is no way of judging them.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
tags: books
“if the day was bright, I would buy a liter of wine and a piece of bread and some sausage and sit in the sun and read one of the books I had bought and watch the fishing.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“He grinned with his hat on the back of his head. He looked more like a Broadway character of the Nineties than the lovely painter that he was, and afterwards, when he had hanged himself, I liked to remember him as he was that night at the Dôme. They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“He had a face that reminded me of a frog, not a bullfrog but just any frog, and Paris was too big a puddle for him.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“in those days, the Corrected Hydrographic Sailing Directions for the Mediterranean, say, or the tables in Brown’s Nautical Almanac. Under the charm of these rich I was as trusting and as stupid as a bird dog who wants to go out with any man with a gun, or a trained pig”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“He started to talk about my writing and I stopped listening. It made me feel sick for people to talk about my writing to my face, and I looked at him and his marked-for-death look and I thought, you con man conning me with your con. I’ve seen a battalion in the dust on the road, a third of them for death or worse and no special marks on them, the dust for all, and you and your marked for death look, you con man, making a living out of your death. Now you will con me. Con not, that thou be not conned. Death was not conning with him. It was coming all right.”
Hemingway Ernest, A Moveable Feast
“I knew I must write a novel. But it seemed an impossible thing to do when I had been trying with great difficulty to write paragraphs that would be the distillation of what made a novel. It was necessary to write longer stories now as you would train for a longer race.”
Hemingway Ernest, A Moveable Feast
“By then I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good you could only fill it by finding something better.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“We walked across the bridge and were on our own side of the river.
"Are you hungry again?" I said. "Us. Talking and walking."
"Of course, Tatie. Aren't you?"
"Let's go to a wonderful place and have a truly grand dinner."
"Where?"
"Michaud's?"
"That's perfect and it's so close.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“I learned one thing.” “What?” “Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“I ordered another rum St. James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
“But she was delightful and charming and welcoming and behind her, as high as the wall and stretching out into the back room which gave onto the inner court of the building, were the shelves and shelves of the richness of the library.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition