F. Scott Fitzgerald · 288 pages
Rating: (50.3K votes)
“I don't want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
“I'm not sentimental--I'm as romantic as you are. The idea, you know,
is that the sentimental person thinks things will last--the romantic
person has a desperate confidence that they won't.”
“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”
“You'll find another.'
God! Banish the thought. Why don't you tell me that 'if the girl had been worth having she'd have waited for you'? No, sir, the girl really worth having won't wait for anybody.”
“It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being.”
“I'm a slave to my emotions, to my likes, to my hatred of boredom, to most of my desires.”
“There is a moment—Oh, just before the first kiss, a whispered word—something that makes it worth while.”
“I hope something happens. I'm restless as the devil and have a horror of getting fat or falling in love and growing domestic.”
“Don't let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don't worry about losing your "personality," as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.”
“You're not sorry to go, of course. With people like us our home is where we are not... No one person in the world is necessary to you or to me.”
“It is not life that's complicated, it's the struggle to guide and control life.”
“You know I'm old in some ways-in others-well, I'm just a little girl. I like sunshine and pretty things and cheerfulness-and I dread responsibility.”
“Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes.”
“You're a slave, a bound helpless slave to one thing in this world, your imagination.”
“And he could not tell why the struggle was worthwhile, why he had determined to use the utmost himself and his heritage from the personalities he had passed...
He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky.
I know myself," he cried, "But that is all.”
“Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they ate the candy. They don't. They just want the fun of eating it all over again.”
“Those days are over. I have to be won all over again every time you see me.”
“Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses”
“I can’t tell you just how wonderful she is. I don’t want you to know. I don’t want any one to know.”
“Was it the infinite sadness of her eyes that drew him or the mirror of himself that he found in the gorgeous clarity of her mind?”
“We want to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, constituents try to believe in their Congressmen, countries try to believe in their statesmen, but they can't. Too many voices, too much scattered, illogical ill-considered criticism.”
“I may turn out an intellectual, but I'll never write anything but mediocre poetry.”
“The unwelcome November rain had perversely stolen the day's last hour and pawned it with that ancient fence, the night.”
“I'm a romantic; a sentimental person thinks things will last, a romantic person hopes against hope that they won't.”
“We can't possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name's become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It's a sad season of life without growth...It has no day.”
“I know myself," he cried, "but that is all.”
“I simply state that I'm a product of a versatile mind in a restless generation-with every reason to throw my mind and pen in with the radicals. Even if, deep in my heart, I thought we were all blind atoms in a world as limited as a stroke of a pendulum, I and my sort would struggle against tradition; try, at least, to displace old cants with new ones. I've thought I was right about life at various times, but faith is difficult. One thing I know. If living isn't seeking for the grail it may be a damned amusing game.”
“Many nights he lay there dreaming awake of secret cafés in Mont Marte, where ivory women delved in romantic mysteries with diplomats and soldiers of fortune, while orchestras played Hungarian waltzes and the air was thick and exotic with intrigue and moonlight and adventure.”
“He's sensitive and I don't want him to break his heart over somebody who doesn't care about him.”
“But I know nothing; my future is a wide-open vista, leading to an unknown country - The Rest Of My Life.”
"You can get there!"
"I can get there!"
"You're a natural at counting to two!"
"I'm a nat'ral at counting to two!"
"If you can count to two, you can count to anything!"
"If I can count to two, I can count to anything!"
"And then the world is your mollusc!"
"My mollusc! What's a mollusc?”
“It was, after all, a time for heroes and all sorts of marvelous things to occur.”
“Don't give yourself a limit and you may discover you don't have one.”
“Simplicity is a matter of taste”
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