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 are no second acts in American lives.

There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.

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.

The notion originated with Daisy’s suggestion that we hire five bath-rooms and take cold baths, and then assumed more tangible form as a place to have a mint julep. Each of us said over and over that it was a crazy idea.—we all talked at once to a baffled clerk and thought, or pretended to think, that we were being very funny.

The strongest guard is placed at the gateway to nothing. Maybe because the condition of emptiness is too shameful to be divulged.

The water reached up for her, pulled her down tenderly out of the heat, seeped in her hair and ran into the corners of her body. She turned round and round in it, embracing it, wallowing in it.

Then I grew up, and the beauty of succulent illusions fell away from me.

The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since.

The strongest should come first in comedy because once a character is really established as funny everything he does is funny.

The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the treas and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life.

Then I heard footsteps on a stairs, and in a moment the thickish figure of a woman blocked out the light from the office door. She was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can. Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering. She smiled slowly and, walking through her husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands with Tom, looking him flush in the eye. Then she wet her lips, and without turning around spoke to her husband in a soft, coarse voice: Get some chairs, why donÂ’t you, so somebody can sit down.

The only way to increase it is to cultivate your own garden. And the only thing that will help you is poetry, which is the most concentrated form of style.... I don't care how clever the other professor is, one can't raise a discussion of modern prose to anything above tea-table level.

The sun had gone down behind the tall apartments of the movie stars in the West Fifties, and the unclear voices of children, already gathered like crikets on the grass, rose through the hot twilight.

The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea. The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.

Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendour.

The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise--she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression--then she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the room. 'I'm p-paralyzed with happiness.' She laughed again, as if she said something very witty, and held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see. That was a way she had. She hinted in a murmur that the surname of the balancing girl was Baker. (I've heard it said that Daisy's murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.)

The tears coursed down her cheeks - not freely, however, for when they came into contact with her heavily beaded eyelashes they assumed an inky color, and pursued the rest of their way in slow black rivulets. A humorous suggestion was made that she sing the notes on her face whereupon she threw up her hands, sank into a chair and went off into a deep vinous sleep.

The wise writer, I think, writes for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.

Then she added in a sort of childish delight: 'We'll be poor, won't we? Like people in books. And I'll be an orphan and utterly free. Free and poor! What fun!' She stopped and raised her lips to him in a delighted kiss. 'It's impossible to be both together,' said John grimly. 'People have found that out. And I should choose to be free as preferable of the two...

The past--the wild charge at the head of his men up San Juan Hill; the first years of his marriage when he worked late into the summer dusk down in the busy city for young Hildegarde whom he loved; the days before that when he sat smoking far into the night in the gloomy old Button house on Monroe Street with his grandfather-all these had faded like unsubstantial dreams from his mind as though they had never been. He did not remember.

The thing that we want to believe. Students in the classic, the representatives of the voters in the country of the state in men, yet they do not believe in them. Because they can not navigate between the big hubbub, and the tangled, self-contradictory and ill-advised criticism. In the case of newspapers even worse. Any rich, reactionary party, when sufficiently steeped specter of financial genius called greed and bírvágy, confidently you can obtain a newspaper, which then feed your soul will be thousands of tired and haunted man who is so busy with so-called modern life that only pre-digested food consumption can. The selection of two cents a tattered political beliefs, prejudices and philosophies you can buy.

The words seemed to bite physically into Gatsby.

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