Quotes By The Complete Short Stories

“My heart's broken,' he thought. 'If I feel this way my heart must be broken.”


“So this was how you died, in whispers that you did not hear.”


“To be able to say: I loved this person, we had a hell of a nice time together, it’s over but in a way it will never be over and I do know that I for sure loved this person, to be able to say that and mean it, that’s rare, señor. That’s rare and valuable.”

— Ernest Hemingway, from The Complete Short Stories ”


“You don't have to destroy me. Do you? ...”


“He had loved too much, demanded too much, and he wore it all out.”


“I don't like to leave anything,' the man said. 'I don't like to leave things behind.”


“I do not need to get used to your silence. I already know it. I quite possibly love all of it.”


“You bitch,' he said. 'You rich bitch. That's poetry. I'm full of poetry now. Rot and poetry. Rotten poetry.”


“I wanted to try this new drink: That's all we do, isn't it - look at things and try new drinks?”


“I'm getting as bored with dying as with everything else, he thought.

'It's a bore,' he said out loud.

'What is, my dear?'

'Anything you do too bloody long.”


“If you have to go away,' she said,'is it absolutely necessary to kill off everything you leave behind? I mean do you have to take away everything? ...”


“And we could have all this,' she said. 'And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.'

'What did you say?'

'I said we could have everything.'

'We can have everything.'

'No, we can't.'

'We can have the whole world.'

'No, we can't.'

'We can go everywhere.'

'No, we can't. It isn't ours anymore.'

'It's ours.'

'No, it isn't. And once they take it away, you never get it back.”


“He thought about alone in Constantinople that time, having quarreled in Paris before he had gone out. He had whored the whole time and then, when that was over, and he had failed to kill his loneliness, but only made it worse, he had written her, the first one, the one who left him, a letter telling her how he had never been able to kill it . . . . How when he thought he saw her outside the Regence one time it made him go all faint and sick inside, and that he would follow a woman that looked like her in some way, along the Boulevard, afraid to see it was not she, afraid to lose the feeling it gave him. How every one he had slept with had only made him miss her more. How what she had done could never matter since he could never cure himself of loving her.”


“It was strange how easy being tired enough made it.”


“I wanted it so much. I don’t know why I wanted it so much.”


“Even if he was ever afraid he knew that he could do it anyway.”


“There are the two curses of Spain, the bulls and the priests.”


“Do you feel better?' he asked.

'I feel fine,' she said. 'There's nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.”


“None of it was important now. The wind blew it out of his head.”


“For sale: baby shoes, never used.”


“If I do it you won't ever worry?'

'I won't worry about that because it's perfectly simple.'

"Then I'll do it. Because I don't care about me.”


“Be a damn fire eater now. He'd seen it in the war work the same way. More of a change than any loss of virginity. Fear gone like an operation. Something else grew in its place. Main thing a man had. Made him into a man. Women knew it too. No bloody fear.”


“You're remembering well today,' she said. 'Don't do it too much.”


“He was going to sleep a little while. He lay still and death was not there. It must have gone around another street. It went in pairs, on bicycles, and moved absolutely silently on the pavements.”


“He had been contemptuous of those who wrecked. You did not have to like it because you understood it. He could beat anything, he thought, because no thing could hurt him if he did not care.

All right. Now he would not care for death. One thing he had always dreaded was the pain. He could stand pain as well as any man, until it went on too long, and wore him out, but here he had something that had hurt frightfully and just when he had felt it breaking him, the pain had stopped.”


“There was nothing to do about him. It was Easter Sunday and the Fascists were advancing toward the Ebro. It was a gray overcast day with a low ceiling so their planes were not up. That and the fact that cats know how to look after themselves was all the good luck that old man would ever have.”


“He had destroyed his talent by not using it, by betrayals of himself and what he believed in, by drinking so much that he blunted the edge of his perceptions, by laziness, by sloth, and by snobbery, by pride and by prejudice, by hook and by crook. What was this? A catalogue of old books? What was his talent anyway? It was a talent all right but instead of using it, he had traded on it. It was never what he had done, but always what he could do.”