From A Moveable Feast:
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.
I thought that all generations were lost by something and always had been and always would be.
I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.
Nobody climbs on skis now and almost everybody breaks their legs but maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places.
I was young and not gloomy and there were always strange and comic things that happened in the worst time…
From The Old Man and the Sea:
Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.
Every day above earth is a good day.
Advice to a young writer:
When people talk listen completely. Most people never listen.
In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald:
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. Be as faithful to it as a scientist—but don’t think anything is of importance because it happens to you or anyone who belongs to you. About this time I wouldn’t blame you if you gave me a burst. Jesus, it’s marvellous to tell other people how to write, live, die, etc.
From his essay “A Letter from Cuba”:
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 sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.