03 November, 2009

Things I Learned Reading Hemingway

-- Don’t be impressed by one’s titles, accomplishments, etc (“Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that ...”).
-- Don’t live vicariously. Just live.
-- A good man may know his limitations, but that’s no excuse to walk the line as long as you’re honest with yourself and others.
-- Tell it like it is. Don’t sugarcoat it. Don’t go around comparing her to a summer’s day. Save your breath. She knows that’s bullshit. “She was damned good-looking” takes less time and space and says miles beyond any archaic, verbose sonnet.
-- Keep your writing friends separate from your tennis friends.
-- When in doubt, best to trust balls and grace. My late friend, Carl, put it that way once, but he was paraphrasing Hemingway.
-- Your art/craft above all else. When cash-strapped, buy books, not clothes. Gertrude Stein’s edict, adopted by EH.
-- At the end of the day, when it comes to you, it’s your way or the highway, and stay the hell away from mental health professionals.

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