F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotations

The following quotes are by or about F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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"This is to tell you about a young man named Ernest Hemingway who lives in Paris (an American), writes for the Transatlantic Review and has a brilliant future ... . I'd look him up right away. He's the real thing."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, from a 1924 letter to Maxwell Perkins

Fitzgerald met Hemingway in France and brought him to the attention of Maxwell Perkins, Fitzgerald's editor at Scribners. The two writers shared an up and down relationship for the remainder of Fitzgerald's life.

submitted by: Michael Cody

"A writer can spin on about his adventures after thirty, after forty, after fifty, but the criteria by which these adventures are weighed and valued are irrevocably settled at the age of twenty-five."

-"Ring," in The Crack-Up, ed. Edmund Wilson. New York: New Directions, 1945. pg. 36.

Fitzgerald made this observation in a tribute to his friend Ring Lardner which first appeared in The New Republic in 1933. The key experiences in Fitzgerald's life which shaped his writing-- including Princeton, his marriage to Zelda Sayre, and the success of his first novel-- occurred before he was twenty-five.

submitted by: Tracy Bitonti

"Then the postman rang, and that day I quit work and ran along the streets, stopping automobiles to tell friends and acquaintances about it-- my novel This Side of Paradise was accepted for publication. That week the postman rang and rang, and I paid off my terrible small debts, bought a suit, and woke up every morning with a world of ineffable toploftiness and promise."

-"Early Success," American Cavalcade (October 1937)

Written at a low point in his career, Fitzgerald still remembered the phenomenal speed, excitement and extent of his youthful success begun in 1919 at age 23. Labeled as spokesman for his generation, Fitzgerald quickly emerged as a major magazine writer, a promising young novelist and a national celebrity.

submitted by: Park Bucker

"A writer's days must be bound each to each by his sense of his life, and Fitzgerald the undergraduate was father of the best in the man and the novelist."

"Fitzgerald was perhaps the last notable writer to affirm the Romantic fantasy, descended from the Renaissance, of personal ambition and heroism, of life committed to, or thrown away for, some ideal of self."

-Trilling, Lionel. The Liberal Imagination. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1953. 235-44.

Lionel Trilling (1905-1975) has been called one of the most influential critics of the 20th century. Although he was a minor poet and novelist, his greatest contributions to literature were his reviews and analyses. He was politically allied with leftist movements, and those political interests sparked his critical positions. He believed that literary works were products of the social and political forces that influenced their authors, a belief that separated him from the other major critics of his day. The quotations come from the F. Scott Fitzgerald chapter of Trilling's work The Liberal Imagination.

submitted by: Catherine Lewis

"It's essentially cleaner to be corrupt and rich than it is to be innocent and poor."

-Amory Blaine (in This Side of Paradise)

Comments like this in Fitzgerald's works have been misunderstood to represent his simplistic reverence for money. Fitzgerald's actual attitudes toward the rich and their money are much more complex.

submitted by: Cy League

"The galleys of 'The Beautiful and Damned' are demoralizing the stenographers on the fourth floor-- I mean as to work."

-Scribners editor Maxwell Perkins to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oct. 2, 1921 (Firestone Collection, Princeton University)

Fitzgerald continually revised his work, even after it had been set into type. His penciled revisions appear throughout the first set of galley proofs for The Great Gatsby, which will be displayed as part of the Fitzgerald Exhibit.

submitted by: Mary Sidney Watson

Fitzgerald Centenary Comments

This page updated 28 January 1997.
Copyright 1997, the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.
URL http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/quotes/quotes2.html