Picks and Pans Review: Ernest Hemingway on Writing

updated 09/24/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/24/1984 01:00AM

edited by Larry W. Phillips

In this enlightening little book Phillips, a Wisconsin journalist, brings together everything Hemingway ever said or wrote about his art. The quotations are grouped under such headings as "The Pain and Pleasure of Writing" and "Knowing What to Leave Out." Here are a few samples. From a letter to novelist John Dos Passos: "Remember to get the weather in your god-damned book—weather is very important." To editor Maxwell Perkins: "Ninety-five percent of The Sun Also [sic] was pure imagination. I took real people in that one and I controlled what they did." To reporter Lillian Ross: "I...threw away about 100,000 words [from To Have and Have Not] which was better than most of what [was] left in." To poet Ernest Walsh: "Only two things you can do for an artist. Give him money and show his stuff." (Scribners, $12.95)

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