F. Scott Fitzgerald, fully Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

F. Scott
Fitzgerald, fully Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
1896
1940

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer best known for The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night which were both made into films

Author Quotes

There! she said, as she spread the tablecloth and put the sandwiches in a neat pile upon it. Don't they look tempting? I always think that food tastes better outdoors. With that remark, remarked Kismine, Jasmine enters the Middle class.

They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.

ThereÂ’s a loneliness that only exists in oneÂ’s mind. The loneliest moment in someoneÂ’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is blink.

There’s a writer for you, he said. Knows everything and at the same time he knows nothing. [Narrator] It was my first inkling that he was a writer. And while I like writers—because if you ask a writer anything you usually get an answer—still it belittled him in my eyes. Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. It’s like actors, who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors. Who lean backward trying—only to see their faces in the reflecting chandeliers.

There's a right way of doing things and a wrong way. If you've made up your mind to be different from everybody else, I don't suppose I can stop you, but I really don't think it's very considerate.

There's no beauty without poignancy and there's no poignancy without the feeling that it's going, men, names, books, houses--bound for dust--mortal--a small boy appeared beside them and, swinging a handful of banana peels, flung them valiantly in the direction of the Potomac.

There was a midsummer restlessness abroad—early August with imprudent loves and impulsive crimes.

There's no 'Safety First' in Art.

There was a pause. Then she smiled and the corners of her mouth drooped and an almost imperceptible sway brought her closer to him, looking up into his eyes. A lump rose in Dexter's throat, and he waited breathless for the experiment, facing the unpredictable compound that would form mysteriously from the elements of their lips. Then he saw--she communicated her excitement to him, lavishly, deeply, with kisses that were not a promise but a fulfillment. They aroused in him not hunger demanding renewal but surfeit that would demand more surfeit . . . kisses that were like charity, creating want by holding back nothing at all.

There's no substitute for will. Sometimes you have to fake will when you don't feel it at all.

There was a ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms, of gay and radiant activities taking place through its corridors and of romances that were not musty and laid away already in lavender but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year's shining motor cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered. It excited him too that many men had already loved Daisy--it increased her value in his eyes. He felt their presence all about the house, pervading the air with the shades and echoes of still vibrant emotions.

There's only one lesson to be learned form life, anyway, interrupted Gloria, not in contradiction but in a sort of melancholy agreement. What's that? demanded Maury sharply. That there's no lesson to be learned from life.

There was another silence, while Marjorie considered whether or not convincing her mother was worth the trouble. People over forty can seldom be permanently convinced of anything. At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.

These lights, this brightness, these clusters of human hope, of wild desire—I shall take these lights in my fingers. I shall make them bright, and whether they shine or not, it is in these fingers that they shall succeed or fail.

There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.

They always believe that 'things are in a bad way now,' but they 'haven't any faith in these idealists.' One minute they call Wilson 'just a dreamer, not practical'- a year later they rail at him for making his dreams realities. They haven't clear logical ideas on one single subject except a sturdy, stolid opposition to all change. They don't think uneducated people should be highly paid, but they won't see that if they don't pay the uneducated people their children are going to be uneducated too, and we're going round and round in a circle. That- is the great middle class.

There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour, if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butlerÂ’s thumb.

There was a kindliness about intoxication - there was that indescribable gloss and glamour it gave, like the memories of ephemeral and faded evenings.

There used to be two kinds of kisses. First when girls were kissed and deserted; second, when they were engaged. Now there's a third kind, where the man is kissed and deserted. If Mr. Jones of the nineties bragged he'd kissed a girl, everyone knew he was through with her. If Mr. Jones of 1919 brags the same everyone knows it's because he can't kiss her any more.

There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still.

There are times when you almost tell the harmless old lady next door what you really think of her face—that it ought to be on a night-nurse in a house for the blind; when you’d like to ask the man you’ve been waiting ten minutes for if he isn’t all overheated from racing the postman down the block; when you nearly say to the waiter that if they deducted a cent from the bill for every degree the soup was below tepid the hotel would owe you half a dollar; when—and this is the infallible earmark of true exasperation—a smile affects you as an oil-baron’s undershirt affects a cow’s husband. But the moment passes. Scars may remain on your dog or your collar or your telephone receiver, but your soul has slid gently back into its place between the lower edge of your heart and the upper edge of your stomach, and all is at peace.

There had been a war fought and won and the great city of the conquering people was crossed with triumphal arches and vivid with thrown flowers of white, red, and rose.

There is a moment—Oh, just before the first kiss, a whispered word—something that makes it worthwhile.

There is a sort of waking nightmare that sets in sometimes when one has missed a sleep or two, a feeling that comes with extreme fatigue and a new sun; that the quality of the life around has changed. It is a fully articulate conviction that somehow the existence one is then leading is a branch shoot of life and is related to life only as a moving picture or a mirror — that the people, and streets, and houses are only projections from a very dim and chaotic past.

There is no beauty without pain, without feeling that they are disappearing men, names, books, houses - designed to dust, mortal.

Author Picture
First Name
F. Scott
Last Name
Fitzgerald, fully Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Birth Date
1896
Death Date
1940
Bio

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer best known for The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night which were both made into films