Quotations by Fitzgerald, F. Scott


In the real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
“Handle with Care,” Esquire (Mar 1936)
Added on 15-Oct-09 | Last updated 15-Oct-09
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Action is character.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
“Notes for The Last Tycoon” (1941)
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Added on 18-Sep-17 | Last updated 18-Sep-17
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The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
“The Crack-Up,” Esquire (Feb 1936)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Apr-11
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Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
“The Notebooks” (E), The Crack-Up [ed. Edmund Wilson (1945)]
Added on 15-Apr-08 | Last updated 4-Sep-15
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Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
“The Rich Boy” (1), All the Sad Young Men (1926)
Added on 3-Oct-13 | Last updated 3-Oct-13
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First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
(Attributed)

See also Hokekyo-Sho, Piper, and this Spanish Proverb.

Added on 7-Aug-09 | Last updated 17-Apr-14
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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 open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pinprick, 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.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
Tender Is the Night, Bk. 3, ch. 13 (1934)
Added on 15-Nov-07 | Last updated 15-Nov-07
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The victor belongs to the spoils.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
The Beautiful and Damned (1922)
Added on 16-Jan-08 | Last updated 16-Jan-08
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In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
The Crack-Up (1936)
Added on 13-Nov-07 | Last updated 13-Nov-07
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If you’re strong enough, there are no precedents.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
The Crack-Up, “The Note-Books,” ed. Edmund Wilson (1945)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Thirty — the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
The Great Gatsby, ch. 7 (1925)
Added on 11-Apr-13 | Last updated 11-Apr-13
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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.

Fitzgerald - Tom and Daisy - wist_info quote

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
The Great Gatsby, ch. 9 (1925)
Added on 27-May-16 | Last updated 27-May-16
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How strange to have failed as a social creature — even criminals do not fail that way — they are the law’s “Loyal Opposition,” so to speak. But the insane are always mere guests on earth, eternal strangers carrying around broken decalogues that they cannot read.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
Letter to daughter, Frances “Scottie” Fitzgerald (Dec 1940)
Added on 23-Jan-08 | Last updated 23-Jan-08
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My generation of radicals and breakers-down never found anything to take the place of the old virtues of work and courage and the old graces of courtesy and politeness.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
Letter to his daughter Frances Scott Fitzgerald (Jul 1938)
Added on 11-Dec-07 | Last updated 11-Dec-07
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I never blame failure — there are too many complicated situations in life — but I am absolutely merciless toward lack of effort.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
Letter, The Crack-Up, ed. Edmund Wilson (1945) p.302

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Added on 21-Aug-07 | Last updated 21-Aug-07
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About adjectives: all fine prose is based on the verbs carrying the sentences. They make sentences move.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
Letter, The Crack-Up, ed. Edmund Wilson (1945) p.303

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Added on 21-Aug-07 | Last updated 21-Aug-07
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