“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
“I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
“Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.”
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
“I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.”
“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”
“You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.”
“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.”
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.”
“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”
“They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
“There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.”
“All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.”
“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”
“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”
“I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.”
“No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
“It takes two to make an accident.”
“And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him”
“He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.”
“Ah," she cried, "you look so cool."
Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space. With an effort she glanced down at the table.
You always look so cool," she repeated.
She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw.”
“Over the millennia the seed of stories planted in the fertile soil of bits and scraps of facts was watered by wishes and began to take root and grow. Eventually, a bountiful fruit of rumors burst forth, to be spread on the wind of whispers that said we hid a fabled hoard of gold. Nothing could convince the believers that it was not true. The truth does not glitter for these people like gold does.”
“Readers, friends, if you turn these pages
Put your prejudice aside,
For, really, there's nothing here that's outrageous,
Nothing sick, or bad — or contagious.
Not that I sit here glowing with pride
For my book: all you'll find is laughter:
That's all the glory my heart is after,
Seeing how sorrow eats you, defeats you.
I'd rather write about laughing than crying,
For laughter makes men human, and courageous.”
“If there is a defining characteristic of a man as opposed to a boy, maybe it’s patience.”
“I think how hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, too, that it’s painful and risky, that it’s making a dare to the world and when has the world ever let us win a dare?”
“Red had a deep loathing of the night before them. He had been through so much combat, had felt so many kinds of terror, and had seen so many men killed that he no longer had any illusions about the inviolability of his own flesh. He knew he could be killed; it was something he had accepted long ago, and he had grown a shell about that knowledge so that he rarely thought of anything further ahead than the next few minutes…”
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