Hemingway on Writing



af: Ernest Miller Hemingway (& “ham igen” a.k.a. Agent C)


Meningerne kan være delte om gamle Hemingway, og retteligen nok. På listen over de ti bedste nogensinde, er det nok de færreste der ville finde plads til ham, men – til trods for alle de dårlige ting man kunne finde på at nævne – kan ingen stræbende skriverkarl helt fornægte Hemingway, som det er umuligt ikke at holde af, enten lidt eller meget (fordi: “Hvem vil skrive, som ikke på et eller andet tidspunkt har villet skrive som Hemingway?”).

Papa i uddrag om skrivekunsten (og hvis det var noget med en lille drink) …


I am trying to make, before I get through, a picture of the whole world – or as much of it as I have seen. Boiling it down always, rather than spreading it out thin.

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and the sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.

Nobody really knows the secret or understands and nobody has ever said the secret. The secret is that it is poetry written into prose and it is the hardest of all things to do … Then there is the other secret. There isn’t any symbolysm (sic). The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit.

In truly good writing no matter how many times you read it you do not know how it is done. That is because there is a mystery in all great writing and that mystery does not dis-sect out. It continues and it is always valid. Each time you re-read you see or learn something new.

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.

… writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done – so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well.

proceed on from the top of the pole

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