My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.
Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.
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.
Pound's crazy. All poets are. They have to be. You don't put a poet like Pound in the loony bin.
Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.
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.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.
The game of golf would lose a great deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green.
The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.
The shortest answer is doing the thing.
The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.
There is no friend as loyal as a book.
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.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
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.
Wars are caused by undefended wealth.
What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
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.
Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.
You're beautiful, like a May fly.
Develop a built-in bullshit detector.
All thinking men are atheists.
If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good, and the very gentle, and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.
Never write about a place until you're away from it, because that gives you perspective.
But in modern war you will die like a dog for no good reason.
All things truly wicked start from an innocence.
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.
A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
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 good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened.
All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
All things truly wicked start from innocence.
An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter's honor.
Courage is grace under pressure.
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.
Ezra was right half the time, and when he was wrong, he was so wrong you were never in any doubt about it.
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.
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.
Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.
I don't like to write like God. It is only because you never do it, though, that the critics think you can't do it.
I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
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.
I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?
I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.
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.
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.
It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.
Man is not made for defeat.
Never confuse movement with action.
Never mistake motion for action.
No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. It can impose a solution but it cannot guarantee it to be a just one.
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.
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.
Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels built on the cuckoo clock style of architecture.
That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.
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.
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.
The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
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.
There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.
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.
There's no one thing that is true. They're all true.
To be a successful father... there's one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two years.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
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.
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
Why should anybody be interested in some old man who was a failure?
You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself.
If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.
The first draft of anything is shit.
I know the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened.
The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.
Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.
A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
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.
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.
All our words from loose using have lost their edge.
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
Cowardice... is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.
Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.
Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.
For a war to be just three conditions are necessary - public authority, just cause, right motive.
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred.
I know now that there is no one thing that is true - it is all true.
I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
I never had to choose a subject - my subject rather chose me.
I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred.
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.
In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason.
Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.