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F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes

100+ of the best book quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald
  1. #1
    “Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.”
  2. #2
    “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.”
  3. #3
    “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”
  4. #4
    “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
  5. #5
    “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.”
  6. #6
    “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
  7. #7
    “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.”
  8. #8
    “I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.”
  9. #9
    “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”
  10. #10
    “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.”
  11. #11
    “You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.”
  12. #12
    “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.”
  13. #13
    “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
  14. #14
    “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”
  15. #15
    “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
  16. #16
    “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.”
  1. #17
    “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
  2. #18
    “Strange children should smile at each other and say, “Let’s play.”
  3. #19
    “Well, you never knew exactly how much space you occupied in people’s lives. Yet from this fog his affection emerged--the best contacts are when one knows the obstacles and still wants to preserve a relation.”
  4. #20
    “Good manners are an admission that everybody is so tender that they have to be handled with gloves. Now, human respect—you don’t call a man a coward or a liar lightly, but if you spend your life sparing people’s feelings and feeding their vanity, you get so you can’t distinguish what should be respected in them.”
  5. #21
    “Things are sweeter when they’re lost. I know--because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly, Dot. And when I got it it turned to dust in my hands.”
  6. #22
    “She smiled, a moving childish smile that was like all the lost youth in the world.”
  7. #23
    “Actually that’s my secret — I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are.”
  8. #24
    “One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or of the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it.”
  9. #25
    “In any case you mustn’t confuse a single failure with a final defeat.”
  10. #26
    “I am tired of knowing nothing and being reminded of it all the time.”
  11. #27
    “She smiled at him, making sure that the smile gathered up everything inside her and directed it toward him, making him a profound promise of herself for so little, for the beat of a response, the assurance of a complimentary vibration in him.”
  12. #28
    “New friends can often have a better time together than old friends.”
  13. #29
    “Later she remembered all the hours of the afternoon as happy -- one of those uneventful times that seem at the moment only a link between past and future pleasure, but turn out to have been the pleasure itself.”
  14. #30
    “When you’re older you’ll know what people who love suffer. The agony. It’s better to be cold and young than to love.”
  15. #31
    “Dick didn’t want to talk – he wanted to be alone so that his thoughts about work and the future would overpower his thoughts of love and to-day.”
  16. #32
    “I fell in love on the beach,” said Rosemary.
    “Who with?”
    “First with a whole lot of people who looked nice. Then with one man”

Books about love

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The Rag Coat book
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All the Places to Love book
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Penguin and Pinecone book
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Spot Loves His Daddy book
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  1. #33
    ″...For Doctor Diver to marry a mental patient? How did it happen? Where did it begin?”
  2. #34
    “I’m afraid I’m in love with you,’ said Dick, ‘and that’s not the best thing that could happen”
  3. #35
    “So many smart men go to pieces nowadays.”
    “And when haven’t they?” Dick asked. “Smart men play close to the line because they have to – some of them can’t stand it, so they quit”
  4. #36
    “He supposed many men meant no more than that when they said they were in love – not a wild submergence of soul, a dipping of all colors into an obscuring dye, such as his love for Nicole had been. Certain thoughts about Nicole, that she should die, sink into mental darkness, love another man, made him physically sick.”
  5. #37
    “When his grandfather’s initial antagonism wore off, Benjamin and that gentleman took enormous pleasure in one another’s company. They would sit for hours, these two, so far apart in age and experience, and, like old cronies, discuss with tireless monotony the slow events of the day. Benjamin felt more at ease in his grandfather’s presence than in his parents’ – they seemed always somewhat in awe of him and, despite the dictatorial authority they exercised over him, frequently addressed him as ‘Mr.‘”
  6. #38
    “In 1920 Roscoe Button’s first child was born. During the attendant festivities, however, no one thought it “the thing” to mention, that the little grubby boy, apparently about ten years of age who played around the house with lead soldiers and a miniature circus, was the new baby’s own grandfather.”
  7. #39
    “By the time he was twelve years old his parents had grown used to him. Indeed, so strong is the force of custom that they no longer felt that he was different from any other child – except when some curious anomaly reminded them of the fact.”
  8. #40
    “This is your child, and you’ll have to make the best of it. We’re going to ask you to take him home with you as soon as possible-some time to-day.”
  9. #41
    “There were no troublesome memories in his childish sleep; no token came to him of his brave days at college, of the glittering years when he flustered the hearts of many girls. There were only the white, safe walls of his crib and Nana and a man who came to see him sometimes, and a great big orange ball that Nana pointed at just before his twilight bed hour and called “sun.” When the sun went his eyes were sleepy – there were no dreams, no dreams to haunt him.”
  10. #42
    “Look! . . . What a pity! A young fellow that age tied to a woman of forty-five. He must be twenty years younger than his wife.”
  11. #43
    “He was as puzzled as any one else at the apparently advanced age of his mind and body at birth. He read up on it in the medical journal, but found that no such case had been previously recorded. At his father’s urging he made an honest attempt to play with other boys, and frequently he joined in the milder games – football shook him up too much, and he feared that in case of a fracture his ancient bones would refuse to knit.”
  12. #44
    “Nevertheless he persisted in his attitude. He brought home lead soldiers, he brought toy trains, he brought large pleasant animals made of cotton, and, to perfect the illusion which he was creating – for himself at least – he passionately demanded of the clerk in the toy-store whether “the paint would come off the pink duck if the baby put it in his mouth.”
  13. #45
    “And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button; his wife had ceased to attract him.”
  14. #46
    “I shall tell you what occurred, and let you judge for yourself.”
  15. #47
    “I like men of your age . . . young boys are so idiotic. They tell me how much champagne they drink at college, and how much money they lose playing cards. Men of your age know how to appreciate women.”
  16. #48
    “But a frantic inspection of the boys’ department revealed no suits to fit the new-born Button. He blamed the store, of course – in such cases it is the thing to blame the store.”
  1. #49
    “I can’t tell you exactly who I am,” replied the querulous whine, “because I’ve only been born a few hours – but my last name is certainly Button.”
  2. #50
    “Benjamin, once he left the hospital, took life as he found it. Several small boys were brought to see him, and he spent a stiff-jointed afternoon trying to work up an interest in tops and marbles – he even managed, quite accidentally, to break a kitchen window with a stone from a sling shot, a feat which secretly delighted his father . . . Thereafter Benjamin contrived to break something every day, but he did these things only because they were expected of him, and because he was by nature obliging.”
  3. #51
    “As a bride it been she who had “dragged” Benjamin to dances and dinners – now conditions were reversed. She went out socially with him, but without enthusiasm, devoured already by that eternal inertia which comes to live with each of us one day and stays with us to the end.”
  4. #52
    “But just think how it would be if every one else looked at things as you do – what would the world be like?”
  5. #53
    “I shall tell you what occurred, and let you judge for yourself. The Roger Buttons held an enviable position, both social and financial, in ante-bellum Baltimore. They were related to the This Family and the That Family, which, as every Southerner knew, entitled them to membership in that enormous peerage which largely populated the Confederacy.”
  6. #54
    “One day a few weeks after his twelfth birthday, while looking in the mirror, Benjamin made, or thought he made, an astonishing discovery. Did his eyes deceive him, or had his hair turned in the dozen years of his life from white to iron-gray under its concealing dye? Was the network of wrinkles on his face becoming less pronounced? Was his skin healthier and firmer, with even a touch of ruddy winter colour? He could not tell. He knew that he no longer stooped, and that his physical condition had improved since the early days of his life.”
  7. #55
    “This is a fine place to keep a youngster of quiet tastes. With all this yelling and howling, I haven’t been able to get a wink of sleep. I asked for something to eat . . . and they brought me a bottle of milk!”
  8. #56
    “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.”
  9. #57
    “His talent was as natural as the pattern ... made by ... dust on a butterfly’s wings.”
  10. #58
    “Children adored him because he was like a child; youth reveled in his company because he was still a youth, and couldn’t be shocked.”
  11. #59
    “He was a slave to his own moods.”
  12. #60
    “I’m sick of a system where the richest man gets the most beautiful girl if he wants her, where the artist without an income has to sell his talents to a button manufacturer.”
  13. #61
    “Dear, don’t think of getting out of bed yet. I’ve always suspected that early rising in early life makes one nervous.”
  14. #62
    “Weak things were often beautiful, weak things were never good.”
  15. #63
    “I possess the most valuable experience, the experience of the race, for in spite of going to college I’ve managed to pick up a good education.”
  16. #64
    “In her less important moments she returned to America, met Stephen Blaine and married him—this almost entirely because she was a little bit weary, a little bit sad.”

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Nobody Hugs A Cactus book
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Caspian Finds a Friend book
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  1. #65
    “I can’t say sweet things. But you are beautiful.”
  2. #66
    “I’ve enjoyed imagining you were my son, that perhaps when I was young I went into a state of coma and begat you, and when I came to, had no recollection of it… it’s the paternal instinct, Amory.”
  3. #67
    “His youth seemed never so vanished as now in the contrast between the utter loneliness of this visit and that riotous, joyful party of four years before.”
  4. #68
    “Beauty and love pass, I know… Oh. there’s sadness, too. I suppose all great happiness is a little sad. Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses.”
  5. #69
    “She was gone, definitely, finally gone. Until now he had half unconsciously cherished the hope deep in his heart that some day she would need him and send for him.”
  6. #70
    “But he fell gradually in love and began to speculate wildly on marriage.”
  7. #71
    “He asked her if she thought he was conceited. She said there was a difference between conceit and self-confidence. She adored self-confidence in men.”
  8. #72
    “It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being.”
  9. #73
    “I know myself . . . but that is all.”
  10. #74
    “I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
  11. #75
    “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and . . . then retreated back into their money . . . and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
  12. #76
    “You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow, she went on . . . Everybody thinks so—the most advanced people. And I know. I’ve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything . . . Sophisticated—God, I’m sophisticated!”
  13. #77
    “I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.”
  14. #78
    “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.’”
  15. #79
    “‘You make me feel uncivilized, Daisy,’ I confessed on my second glass of corky but rather impressive claret. ‘Can’t you talk about crops or something?’”
  16. #80
    “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
  1. #81
    “He had 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 external 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.”
  2. #82
    “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.”
  3. #83
    “That’s my Middle West . . . the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark. . . . I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.”
  4. #84
    “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—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
  5. #85
    “All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.”
  6. #86
    “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
  7. #87
    “It takes two to make an accident.”
  8. #88
    “He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.”
  9. #89
    “If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him.”
  10. #90
    “Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.”
  11. #91
    “There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind…”
  12. #92
    “...and for a moment I thought I loved her. But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires”
  13. #93
    “Do you ever wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it!”
  14. #94
    “I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.”
  15. #95
    “Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.”
  16. #96
    “The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.”
  1. #97
    “You’re the only girl I’ve seen for a long time that actually did look like something blooming.”
  2. #98
    “I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am to-night.”
  3. #99
    “People living alone get used to loneliness.”
  4. #100
    “I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me you’d better go.”
  5. #101
    “She was dazzling-- alight; it was agony to comprehend her beauty in a glance.”
  6. #102
    “I shall go on shining as a brilliantly meaningless figure in a meaningless world.”
  7. #103
    “His mind tired--tired with nothing, tired with everything, with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.”
  8. #104
    “We all have souls of different ages.”
  9. #105
    “I don’t care about truth. I want some happiness.”
  10. #106
    “I hope something happens. I’m restless as the devil and have a horror of getting fat or falling in love and growing domestic.”
  11. #107
    “Good luck to you and bad luck to your theories.”
  12. #108
    “He felt that he was leaving behind him his chance of being a certain type of artist. It seemed so much more important to be a certain sort of man.”
  13. #109
    “I want to know you moved and breathed in the same world with me.”
  14. #110
    “When a girl feels that she’s perfectly groomed and dressed she can forget that part of her. That’s charm”
  15. #111
    “There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice.”
  16. #112
    “I want leisure to read—an immense amount.”
  1. #113
    Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes.
  2. #114
    “They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.”
  3. #115
    “Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby. “I love you now—isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once—but I loved you too.”
  4. #116
    I’m p-paralyzed with happiness.
  5. #117
    It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered “Listen,” a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.
  6. #118
    “Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.
    That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it.
  7. #119
    “All she wanted was to be a little girl, to be efficiently taken care of by some yielding yet superior power, stupider and steadier than herself. It seemed that the only lover she had ever wanted was a lover in a dream.”
  8. #120
    “A sense of responsibility would spoil her. She’s too pretty.”
  9. #121
    “Experience is not worth the getting. It’s not a thing that happens pleasantly to a passive you--it’s a wall that an active you runs up against.”
  10. #122
    “Unloved women have no biographies--they have histories.”
  11. #123
    “He had never met anyone like her before. He sought her jauntily but earnestly to send him away; he didn’t want to fall in love. He wasn’t coming to see her any more--already she had haunted too many of his ways.”
  12. #124
    “A woman should be able to kiss a man beautifully and romantically without any desire to be either his wife or his mistress.”
  13. #125
    “‘Dear little Dot, life is so damned hard.’
    She was crying upon his shoulder.
    ‘So damned hard, so damned hard,’ he repeated aimlessly; ‘it just hurts people and hurts people, until finally it hurts them so that they can’t be hurt ever any more. That’s the last and worst thing it does.’”
  14. #126
    “How I feel is that if I wanted anything I’d take it. That’s what I’ve always thought all my life. But it happens that I want you, and so I just haven’t room for any other desires.”
  15. #127
    “What delicious romance! His true reaction was neither fear nor sorrow--only this deep delight in being with her that colored the banality of his words and made the mawkish seem sad and the posturing seem wise. He would come back--eternally. He should have known!”
  16. #128
    “Gloria’s independence, like all sincere and profound qualities, had begun unconsciously, but, once brought to her attention by Anthony’s fascinated discovery of it, it assumed more nearly the proportions of a formal code. From her conversation it might be assumed that all her energy and vitality went into a violent affirmation of the negative principle ‘Never give a damn.’”
  17. #129
    “Everywhere we go and move on and change, something’s lost--something’s left behind. You can’t ever quite repeat anything, and I’ve been so yours, here--”
  18. #130
    “All I think of ever is that I love you.”
  19. #131
    “You can’t have anything, you can’t have anything at all. Because desire just cheats you. It’s like a sunbeam skipping here and there about a room. It stops and gilds some inconsequential object, and we poor fools try to grasp it--but when we do the sunbeam moves on to something else, and you’ve got the inconsequential part, but the glitter that made you want it is gone--”
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