The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

by Catherine Chiu

  • “Can’t you let a man die as comfortably as he can without calling him names? What’s the use of slanging me?”
  • Maybe you could never write them, and that was why you put them off and delayed the starting.
  • “Why, I loved you. That’s not fair. I love you now. I’ll always love you. Don’t you love me?”
    “No,” said the man. “I don’t think so. I never have.”
    “Harry, what are you saying? You’re out of your head.”
    “No. I haven’t any head to go out of.”
  • “Love is a dunghill,” said Harry. “And I’m the cock that gets on it to crow.”
    “If you have to go away,” she said. “is it absolutely necessary to kill off everything you leave behind? I mean do you have to take away everything? DO you have to kill your horse, and your wife and burn your saddle and your armour?”
  • “All right then. I’ll go hurting you. It’s more amusing. The only thing I ever really liked to do with you I can’t do now.”
  • “Don’t pay any attention, darling, to what I say. I love you, really. You know I love you. I’ve never loved any one else the way I love you.”
    He slipped into the familiar lie he made his bread and butter by.
    “You’re sweet to me.”
    “You bitch,” he said. “You rich bitch. That’s poetry. I’m full of poetry now. Rot and poetry. Rotten poetry.”
  • “You don’t have to destroy me. Do you? I’m only a middle-aged woman who loves you and wants to do what you want to do. I’ve been destroyed two or three times already. You wouldn’t want to destroy me again, would you?”
    “I’d like to destroy you a few times in bed,” he said.
    “Yes. That’s the good destruction.”
  • So this was how you died, in whispers that you did not hear.
  • He knew at least twenty good stories from out there and he had never written one. Why?
  • I’m getting as bored with dying as with everything else, he thought.
  • “You know that only thing I’ve never lost is curiosity,” he said to her.
  • “Never believe any of that about a scythe and a skull,” he told her. “It can be two bicycle policemen as easily, or be a bird. Or it can have a wide snout like a hyena.”
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