Ernest Hemingway on The Art of Fiction

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The Shadow of Chez

Here are some interesting tidbits I pulled from Ernest Hemingway’s 1958 interview in The Paris Review, on the Art of Fiction.

Among other things, Hemingway discusses his process, when he likes to write, and the value of editing. It’s highly readable and informative, despite his apparent boredom for most of the questions: “I see I am getting away from the question, but the question was not very interesting.” And, “when you ask someone old, tired questions you are apt to receive old, tired answers.”

Two highlights from the interview:

One, his confirmation of a writer needing space to create: “You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you.”

Two, his answer to a question regarding an author’s training:

INTERVIEWER: What would you consider the best intellectual training for the would-be writer?

HEMINGWAY: Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because…

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