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book notes 2015-2019

James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth

Ernest Hemingway, On Writing

(Touchtone Paperback Edition, 1999) - Edited by Larry W. Phillips. Read August, 2019. Hemingway expressly asked that his letters not be published, but I'm so glad they were. Huge respect. If you want to write, read this entire book. #writing #hemingway

notes n quotes

"There's nothing to writing. Just sit down at the typewriter and bleed."

“I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced. In writing for a newspaper you told what happened and, with one trick and another, you communicated the emotion aided by the element of timeliness which gives a certain emotion to any account of something that has happened on that day; but the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always, was beyond me and I was working very hard to try to get it.”―Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don't cheat with it.”―Ernest Hemingway

“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”―Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. If you read it you must stop where Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

"That essential gift for any good writer is a built-in shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all good writer have had it."

(from George Plimpton, An Interview with Ernest Hemingway The Paris Review 18 Spring,1958)

"Good writing is true writing. If a man is making a story up it will be true in proportion to the amount of knowledge of life that he has and how conscientious he is; so that when he makes something up it is as it would truly be.”― Ernest Hemingway, On Writing

"When you first start writing stories in the first person if the stories are made so real that people believe them the people reading them nearly always think the stories really happened to you. That is natural because while you were making them up you had to make them happen to the person who was telling them. If you do this successfully enough you make the person who reading them believe that the things happened to him too. If you can do this you are beginning to get what you are trying for which is to make the story so real beyond any reality that it will become a part of the reader's experience and a part of his memory. There must be things that he did not notice when he read the story or the novel which without his knowing it enter into his memory and experience so they are a part of his life."#hemingway #papa #onwriting #deathintheafternoon #amoveablefeast


Solo Faces - James Salter

Read March, 2019. Novel-ized account of the obsession that draws climbers away from civilization to test themselves against the most intimidating and inaccessible mountains in the world. James Salter brilliantly captures the adventure of summiting along with its physical tolls and emotional trials.

notes n quotes

“There are men who seem destined to always go first, to lead the way. They are confident in life, they are the first to go beyond it. Whatever there is to know, they learn before others. Their very existence gives strength and drives one onward. Love and jealousy were mingled there in the darkness, love and despair.”

James Salter, Solo Faces: A Novel

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest (Hardcover) - Wade Davis

Engaging and highly detailed, Wade plods first through the The Great War, it's tremendous impact on an entire generation of men, and ends with the tales of three legendary British Everest expeditions of the 1920’s. It was difficult to imagine the immense tragedies of the war it's unsurmountable losses but I stayed with it, as I stayed with Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, after it left me so many questions - and with in hopes of deeper understanding of these historical outcomes, the Lost Generation, their passion for nature and achievements against impossible odds. The book will eventually lead you through a wonder-filled travelogue of the Himalayas, and the relentless passion of those who pioneered the first climbs. Wade Davis took ten years to write these historical accounts, and the massive amount of research he has done is the most impressive takeaway from this book. A vivid account of the men, the mountains and the movement, as well as the expansion of Buddhism into Tibet and beyond.

notes n quotes

"I want to lose all harshness of jagged nerves, to be above all gentle. I feel we have achieved victory for that almost more than anything-to be able to cultivate gentleness."

George Malory to his wife Ruth at the end of the Great War

Wade Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest

“Let him who thinks war is a glorious, golden thing, who loves to roll forth stirring words of exhortation, invoking honour and praise and valour and love of country … Let him but look at a little pile of sodden grey rags that cover half a skull and a shin-bone and what might have been its ribs, or at this skeleton lying on its side, resting half crouching as it fell, perfect that it is headless, and with the tattered clothing still draped round it; and let him realize how grand and glorious a thing it is to have distilled all youth and joy and life into a fetid heap of hideous putrescence! Who is there who has known and seen who can say that victory is worth the death of even one of these?”

Wade Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest

“Young first encountered George Mallory in 1909, at a Cambridge dinner. At Easter he invited Mallory to Pen y Pass, and the following summer the two went off, at Young’s expense, to the Alps, where they were joined by Donald Robertson, a close friend and peer of Hilton Young’s. They climbed a number of peaks, none more dramatic than the southeast ridge of the Nesthorn, where Mallory nearly died. He was leading at the time, inching his way across fluted ice, seeking a route around the third of the four great towers that blocked the way up the ridge. Young would later recall his sudden astonishment: “I saw the boots flash from the wall without even a scrape; and, equally soundlessly, a grey streak flickered downward, and past me, and out of sight. So much did the wall, to which he had clung so long, overhang that from the instant he lost hold he touched nothing until the rope stopped him in mid-air over the glacier. I had had time to think, as I flung my body forward on to the belayed rope, grinding it and my hands against the slab, that no rope could stand such a jerk; and even to think out what our next action must be—so instantaneous is thought.” Miraculously, the rope held and Mallory was uninjured.”

Wade Davis, Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory, And The Conquest Of Everest

Backroads & Byways of Georgia (First Edition) (Backroads & Byways) - David B. Jenkins