Every once in a while, I re-read a classic and I just finished Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. What a great book. It’s short and has Hemingway’s sparse prose but it packs a powerful punch. Less is more, something contemporary writers don’t seem to ever embrace. Here is my favorite quote from the book. Speaking of his love for Catherine Barkley, the narrator says:
I have been lonely while I was with many girls and that is the way that you can be most lonely. But we were never lonely and never afraid when we were together. I know that the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started. But with Catherine there was almost no difference in the night except that it was an even better time. If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.