Top 10 Ernest Hemingway Quotes on Drinking
#10 - WHISKEY
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"The whiskey warmed his tongue and the back of his throat, but it did not change his ideas any, and suddenly, looking at himself in the mirror behind the bar, he knew that drinking was never going to do any good to him now. Whatever he had now he had, and it was from now on, and if he drank himself unconscious when he woke up it would be there." —To Have and Have Not, 1937

#09 - CARELESS
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"I was a little drunk. Not drunk in any positive sense but just enough to be careless." —The Sun Also Rises, 1926

#08 - MECHANICAL RELIEF
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"Don't you drink? I notice you speak slightingly of the bottle. I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure. When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky? When you are cold and wet what else can warm you? Before an attack who can say anything that gives you the momentary well-being that rum does? . . . The only time it isn't good for you is when you write or when you fight. You have to do that cold. But it always helps my shooting. Modern life, too, is often a mechanical oppression and liquor is the only mechanical relief." —Postscript to letter to critic, poet and translator Ivan Kashkin, August 19, 1935); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917-1961, 1981, edited by Carlos Baker

#07 - ALL WE DO
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"I wanted to try this new drink. That's all we do, isn't it—look at things and try new drinks?" —"Hills Like White Elephants," Men Without Women, 1927

#06 - HEAVEN
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"I wonder what your idea of heaven would be — A beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists. All powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death. And hell would probably an ugly vacuum full of poor polygamists unable to obtain booze or with chronic stomach disorders that they called secret sorrows." —Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, July 1, 1925; published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917-1961, 1981, edited by Carlos Baker

#05 - GREATEST PERFECTION
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“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” —Death in the Afternoon, 1932

#04 - GOOD COMPANY
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“I drank a bottle of wine for company. It was Chateau Margaux. It was pleasant to be drinking slowly and to be tasting the wine and to be drinking alone. A bottle of wine was good company.” —The Sun Also Rises, 1926

#03 - FOOLS
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"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools." —For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1940

#02 - AS NATURAL AS EATING
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"In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary." —A Moveable Feast, 1964

#01 - OLD WHORE
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"Death is like an old whore in a bar—I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her." —To Have and Have Not, 1937

User Comments - Add a Comment
Anonymous - 2015-04-06 01:08:19

This list has most certainly inspired me to read Hemingway. As a fellow drunk, I wish I could justify myself as profoundly and convingingly as he does.