The Collected Stories – Ernest Hemingway: Part One

hemingway1This is the largest collection I’ve read in a while; and although I’m currently only half way through, I thought it would be appropriate to present the quotes in two parts.
As a side note: Reading a large volume of short stories consecutively can be rather challenging because of the lack of attachment/investment a reader usually feels toward any brief character or setting. That being said, Hemingway is arguably my favorite author.. ever so experiencing a fuller range of his writing styles, as well as a more diverse pool of themes has really been a treat.
So here’s a little taste of The Collected Stories of Ernest Hemingway – Part One:
(The title of each short story will be in bold.)

The Three-Day Blow:

“Fall for them but don’t let them ruin you.”

“Nick said nothing. The liquor had all died out of him and left him alone. Bill wasn’t there. He wasn’t sitting in front of the fire or going fishing tomorrow with Bill and his dad or anything. He wasn’t drunk. It was all gone. All he knew was that he had once had Marjorie and that he had lost her. She was gone and he had sent her away. That was all that mattered. He might never see her again. Probably he never would. It was all gone, finished.”

Cross Country Snow:

“On the white below George dipped and rose and dipped out of sight. The rush and the sudden swoop as he dropped down a steep undulation in the mountain side plucked Nick’s mind out and left him only the wonderful flying, dropping sensation in his body. He rose to a slight up-run and then the snow seemed to drop out from under him as he went down, down, faster and faster in a rush down the last, long steep slope. Crouching so he was almost sitting back on his skis, trying to keep the center of gravity low, the snow driving like a sandstorm, he knew the pace was too much. But he held it. He would not let go and spill. Then a patch of soft snow, left in a hollow by the wind, spilled him and he went over and over in a clashing of skis, feeling like a shot rabbit, then stuck, his legs crossed, his skis sticking straight up and his nose and ears jammed full of snow.”

My Old Man:

“Once there was an American woman sitting with her kid daughter at the next table to us and they were both eating ices and I kept looking at the girl and she was awfully good looking and I smiled at her and she smiled at me but that was all that ever came of it because I looked for her mother and her every day and I made up ways that I was going to speak to her and I wondered if I got to know her if her mother would let me take her out to Auteuil or Tremblay but I never saw either of them again.”

“He’d be reading the Paris-Sport and he’d look over at me and say, ‘Where’s your girl, Joe?’ to kid me on account I had told him about the girl that day at the next table. And I’d get red, but I liked being kidded about her. It gave me a good feeling. ‘Keep your eye peeled for her Joe,’ he’d say, ‘she’ll be back.'”

Big Two-Hearted River:

“Nick slipped off his pack and lay down in the shade. He lay on his back and looked up into the pine trees. His neck and back and the small of his back rested as he stretched. The earth felt good against his back. He looked up at the sky, through the branches, and then shut his eyes. He opened them and looked up again. There was a wind high up in the branches. He shut his eyes again and went to sleep.”

In Another Country:

“Although, as we walked to the Cova through the tough part of town, walking in the dark, with light and singing coming out of the wine-shops, and sometimes having to walk into the street when the men and women would crowd together on the sidewalk so that we would have to jostle them to get by, we felt held together by there being something that had happened that they, the people that disliked us, did not understand.”

‘Are you married?’
‘No, but I hope to be.’
‘The more of a fool you are,’ he said. He seemed very angry. ‘A man must not marry.’
‘Why, Signor Maggiore?’
‘Don’t call me “Signor Maggiore.”‘
‘Why must not a man marry?’
‘He cannot marry. He cannot marry,’ he said angrily. ‘If he is to lose everything, he should not place himself in a position to lose that. He should not place himself in a position to lose. He should find things he cannot lose.’
He spoke very angrily and bitterly, and looked straight ahead while he talked.
‘But why should he necessarily lose it?’
‘He’ll lose it,’ the major said. He was looking at the wall.

Hills Like White Elephants:

‘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 any more.’
‘It’s ours.’
‘No, it isn’t. And once they take it away, you never get it back.’
‘But they haven’t taken it away.’
‘We’ll wait and see.’
‘Come on back in the shade,’ he said. ‘You mustn’t feel that way.’
‘I don’t feel any way,’ the girl said. ‘I just know things.’
‘I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want to do –‘
‘Nor that isn’t good for me,’ she said. ‘I know. Could we have another beer?’

Che Ti Dice La Patria?:

“Naturally, in such a short trip, we had no opportunity to see how things were with the country or the people.”

A Simple Enquiry:

“Around the major’s eyes were two white circles where his snow-glasses had protected his face from the sun on the snow. The rest of his face had been burned and then tanned and then burned through the tan. His nose was swollen and there were edges of loose skin where blisters had been. While he worked at the papers he put the fingers of his left hand into a saucer of oil and then spread the oil over his face, touching it very gently with the tips of his fingers. He was very careful to drain his fingers on the edge of the saucer so there was only a film of oil on them, and after he had stroked his forehead and his cheeks, he stroked his noes very delicately between his fingers.”

An Alpine Idyll:

‘You oughtn’t to ever do anything too long.’
‘No. We were up there too long.’
‘Too damn long,’ John said. ‘It’s no good doing a thing too long.’

Banal Story:

“Our children’s children – what of them? Who of them? New means must be discovered to find room for us under the sun. Shall this be done by war or can it be done by peaceful methods?”

“Men and boys bought full-length colored pictures of him to remember him by, and lost the picture they had of him in their memories by looking at the lithographs. Bull-fighters were very relieved he was dead, because he did always in the bull-ring the things they could only do sometimes.”

Now I Lay Me:

“I myself did not want to sleep because I had been living for a long time with the knowledge that if I ever shut my eyes in the dark and let myself go, my soul would go out of my body. I had been that way for a long time, ever since I had been blown up at night and felt it go out of me and go off and then come back. I tried never to think about it, but it had started to go since, in the nights, just at the moment of going off to sleep, and I could only stop it by a very great effort. So while now I am fairly sure that it would not really have gone out, yet then, that summer, I was unwilling to make the experiment.

I had different ways of occupying myself while I lay awak. I would think of a trout stream I had fished along when I was a boy and fish its whole length very carefully in my mind; fishing very carefully under all the logs, all the turns of the bank, the deep holes and the clear shallow stretches, sometimes catching trout and sometimes losing them. I would stop fishing at noon to eat my lunch; sometimes on a log over the stream; sometimes on a high bank under a tree, and I always ate my lunch very slowly and watched the stream below me while I ate.”

“And I do not remember a night on which you could not hear things. If I could have a light I was not afraid to sleep, because I knew my soul would only go out of me if it were dark.”

A Way You’ll Never Be:

“‘Let’s not talk about how I am,’ Nick said. ‘It’s a subject I know too much about to want to think about it any more.'”

A Natural History of the Dead:

“…considering his days as numbered and nothing appearing to remain for him to do but to lie down and die, a small moss-flower of extraordinary beauty caught his eye. ‘Though the whole plant,’ says he, ‘ was no larger than one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves and capsules without admiration. Can that Being who planted, watered and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and suffering of creatures formed after his own image? Surely not. Reflections like these would not allow me to despair; I started up and, disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forward, assured that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed.'”

“Maybe cats do not die then, they say they have nine lives, I do not know, but most men die like animals, not men. I’d never seen a natural death, so called, and so I blamed it on the war and like the persevering traveller, Mungo Park, knew that there was something else; that always absent something else, and then I saw one.”