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More F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes

'The Great Gatsby,' 'Tender is the Night,' Notebooks & More...


More F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes
Study Guide Here are more quotes from the life and works of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

More More F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes

  • "No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • "No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald Notebooks
  • "Nothing is as obnoxious as other people's luck"
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to his daughter, Sep. 19, 1938
  • "Often I think writing is a sheer paring away of oneself leaving always something thinner, barer, more meager."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to his daughter, Apr. 27, 1940
  • "Optimism is the content of small men in high places."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Notebooks
  • "People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher - a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
  • "Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • "Poetry is either something that lives like fire inside you-like music to the musician or Marxism to the Communist-or else it is nothing, an empty formalized bore around which pedants can endlessly drone their notes and explanations."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to his daughter, Aug. 3, 1940
  • "Riches have never fascinated me, unless combined with the greatest charm or distinction."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to Ernest Hemingway, Aug. 1936
  • "Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Notebooks
  • "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • "Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • "The compensation of a very early success is a conviction that life is a romantic matter. In the best sense one stays young."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, American Cavalcade, Oct. 1937
  • "The easiest way to get a reputation is to go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Notebooks The faces of most American women over thirty are relief maps of petulant and bewildered unhappiness."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to his daughter, Oct. 5, 1940
  • "The idea that to make a man work you've got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We've done that for so long that we've forgotten there's any other way."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
  • "The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Notebooks
  • "The man who arrives young believes that he exercises his will because his star is shining. The man who only asserts himself at thirty has a balanced idea of what willpower and fate have each contributed, the one who gets there at forty is liable to put the emphasis on will alone."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, American Cavalcade, Oct. 1937
  • "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack Up
  • "The victor belongs to the spoils."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned
  • "The years between thirty-five and sixty-five revolve before the passive mind as one unexplained, confusing merry-go-round. True, they are a merry-go-round of ill-gaited and wind-broken horses, painted first in pastel colors, then in dull grays and browns, but perplexing and intolerably dizzy the thing is, as never were the merry-go-rounds of childhood or adolescence; as never, surely, were the certain-coursed, dynamic roller-coasters of youth. For most men and women these thirty years are taken up with a gradual withdrawal from life."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, "O Russet Witch!"
  • "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."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
  • "When the first-rate author wants an exquisite heroine or a lovely morning, he finds that all the superlatives have been worn shoddy by his inferiors. It should be a rule that bad writers must start with plain heroines and ordinary mornings, and, if they are able, work up to something better."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Notebooks
  • "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."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon
  • "You can stroke people with words."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Notebooks

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