THE IMPORTANCE OF QUOTING ERNEST

Did you fathom that the title of my last post (THE OLD MAN AND THE SEASON) was a play on Ernest Hemingway’s last completed novel, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA? Because that post was about aging and autumn, perhaps I was remiss in not including a Hemingway quote (such as the first one below) among those I gathered for the occasion.

This post will attempt to make up for that shortfall with a selection of Hemingway quotes, starting with this autumn-appropriate eulogy he wrote for a friend:

Best of all he loved the fall/the leaves yellow on cottonwoods/leaves floating on trout streams/and above the hills/the high blue windless skies./Now he will be part of them forever.

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.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. 

When you go to war as a boy, you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed, not you… Then, when you are badly wounded, you lose that illusion, and you know it can happen to you.

In modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

True nobility is being superior to your former self.

No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. 

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

There is no lonelier man, except the suicide, than that man who has lived with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.

But hold on — happy or not, this isn’t the end. The title of this post is another play on words, this being Oscar Wilde’s peerless comedy of manners titled THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST….a parody of Victorian age social standing previewed in this trailer for the 1952 film (not to be confused with the inferior 2002 remake) of the Wilde play:

Now (as the movie says when it’s over) this is THE END

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24 comments on “THE IMPORTANCE OF QUOTING ERNEST

  1. linnetmoss says:

    Ah, Michael Redgrave! What a great cast this version has. Thanks for the trailer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mistermuse says:

    Great cast, great movie. Just seeing the trailer makes me want to watch the whole film again!

    Like

  3. arekhill1 says:

    While I am not sufficiently versed in Hemingway, not having read any since my extreme youth, the competitors in the Bad Hemingway Contest have always had my respect: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-09/news/vw-142_1_bright-boy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don Frankel says:

    Great stuff Muse. And, I got the reference to the the Old Man and The Season. But a slight correction on that. The Old Man and The Sea was the last novel Hemingway wrote while he was alive. He wrote a whole bunch of novels after he was dead. None of them were any good. But let’s cut Papa a little slack as it must be tough writing when you’re dead. I mean it’s hard enough when you’re alive.

    In case people reading this don’t understand, his last wife Mary, kept finding manuscripts in the attic that Papa had never published. Either he didn’t publish them because they weren’t very good or the people who wrote them using his name weren’t very good. Take your pick.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. mistermuse says:

    Singielka, thank you for your “Like” — this is just to let you know that I tried to submit a comment on one of your blog posts, but it didn’t go through (something about an insecure connection). Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never cared for Ernest Hemingway’s works and it was a suffering to have to put up with them when they were assigned in English classes. Oscar Wilde, on the other hand, is a real favorite of mine. I loved reading The Importance of Being Earnest, and was part of a group that performed the original stage play in college….what great lines! Very interesting, the trailer you show here; I never happened to see “Earnest” as a movie. It seems it is a perennial.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. mistermuse says:

    I also love the Wilde wit (wild wit too, for that matter) — unfortunately, each succeeding younger generation seems less connected to an appreciation of such wordly delights….and “more’s the pity” (to repeat a phrase I used in my last post). BTW, I now find that the 1952 & 2002 films aren’t the only versions of the play; there was a 1986 remake as well. I think all three can be viewed online in their entirety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean why don’t I click Like, I don’t see where I can click Like on your posts. Apparently your internet connection is incompatible with mine. In any case, I do not have sufficient computer expertise to know what to do about it. Sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mél@nie says:

    EXCELLENT post, Monsieur Muse… I always love your puns & intellectual “blendings”… 🙂

    I love Oscar Wilde’s works – he is one of the titans of world’s literature, and you certainly know he passed-away in Paris – his “chosen” city…(I saw his tomb in Père Lachaise cemetery) btw, he’s still present in Paris these days: 🙂
    http://www.rtl.fr/culture/arts-spectacles/oscar-wilde-l-impertinent-absolu-est-a-decouvrir-au-petit-palais-7785456107
    * * *
    speakin’ of “papa Hemingway”, he’s been one of my favourite-US writers since high-school… I visited his villa in Key West a few years ago… you may have read my blog-post:
    https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ernesto-mi-amor/

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hemingway has some great quotes. Bleeding on the typewriter is a favorite as well as the one about trust. Oh, and the eulogy is beautiful. And the one about no happy end to love. And….

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mark Scheel says:

    mistermuse,

    The typewriter and bleeding–or some version of it–is more likely from Red Smith, the great sports writer. Although many have been credited with some variation. Yeah, I got the first Hemingway word play. He was one of my favorite authors early on and I studied his work endlessly–even into grad school. The comments on being dead and writing–were you aware that there’s a fellow who channels Hemingway and did a book on the conversations? It’s utterly fascinating–if it isn’t Hemingway’s ghost talking, it’s a remarkable imitation! Well, I won’t comment on the Trump allusions, just let the renewed e-mail discoveries and coming Wiki-Leaks dumps lead where they may! LOL

    Good post, muse!

    Mark

    Liked by 2 people

  11. mistermuse says:

    No, I wasn’t aware of the fellow who channels Hemingway — he must be English (if you think that pun was bad, wait till you see my next post). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Clever title. Wilde was a childhood favorite, but I never really warmed up to Hemingway. For me, a small book of quotes is about all I can get through where he is concerned – so thanks for yours.

    The comments on this post were fun to read too – and I love your theme (blog look) – which one is it?
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. mistermuse says:

    Thanks. I try to respond to comments with ‘in kind’ (as opposed to generic) replies, as I feel that anyone who takes the trouble to read what I have to say and to comment specifically (as opposed to generically) deserves a thoughtful reply.

    As for Hemingway, I think he captures the meaning of inspiration perfectly with the quote that ends “Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”

    Like

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