LLR Books

Fitzgerald's writings

 “Any person with any imagination is bound to be afraid.”  This Side of Paradise

“So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuningfork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”  The Great Gatsby

“Love went on around him  reproachless love and illicit love alike.” Love in the Night

 “I’d love to be in love.” Rags Martin Jones and the Prince of Wales

 “To be of great wit and conversational powers, and simultaneously strong and serious and silent. To be generous and open and selfsacrificing, yet to be somewhat mysterious and sensitive and even a little bitter with melancholy. To be both light and dark. To harmonize this, to melt all this down into a single man  ah, there was something to be done.” The Perfect Life

 “The fire blazing in her dark and injured heart seemed to glow around her like a flame.”
 The Beautiful and Damned

 “She looks at him once more, with infinite longing, infinite sadness.”
This Side of Paradise

 “She felt a sudden lump in her throat and she wanted to say something that would tell him how much it had meant to her, too. But she found no words.” Benediction

 “He saw she was lying, but it was a brave lie. They talked from their hearts — with the half truths and evasions peculiar to that organ, which has never been famed as an instrument of precision.” Forging Ahead

 “Then she kissed him until the sky seemed to fade out and all her smiles and tears to vanish in an ecstasy of eternal seconds.” The Ice Palace

 “Momentarily he had forgotten her too — almost in the second of his flesh breaking from hers she had a foretaste that things were going to be different than she had expected. She felt the nameless fear which precedes all emotions, joyous or sorrowful, inevitable as a hum of thunder precedes a storm.”  Tender is the Night

“Suddenly she realized that what she was regretting was not the lost past but the lost future, not what had not been but what would never be.” —       , A Nice Quiet Place

 “When the scarlet corners of her lips curved down, it was less a smile than an invitation to a kiss.” Winter Dreams

 “She had never felt so sorry for him; she had never loved him so much.”  The CutGlass Bowl

 “She could feel him slipping out of her heart, feel the space he left, and all at once he was gone.” Two Wrongs

 “And deep under the aching sadness that will pass in time, she feels that she has lost something, she knows not what, she knows not why.”   This Side of Paradise

 “I’m yours  you know it.”   This Side of Paradise

 “I used to dream about our home, our children, about holding you in my arms and touching your face and hands and hair that used to belong to me, and now I just can’t wake up.”  The Bridal Party

 “She saw through to his profound woundedness, and something quivered inside her, died out along the curve of her mouth and in her eyes. He had moved her. All the unforgettable impulses of first love had surged up once more.”   The Bridal Party

"Her heart sank into her shoes as she realized at last how much she wanted him. No matter what his past was, no matter what he had done. Which was not to say that she would ever let him know, but only that he moved her chemically more than anyone she had ever met, that all other men seemed pale beside him.” (from the short story A New Leaf)

“He looked at her and for a moment she lived in the bright blue worlds of his eyes, eagerly and confidently.”   Tender is the Night

 “She told him in a dozen ways, of which the best was without words, how she had missed him. Her emotion reassured him, promised his anxious heart that everything would be all right.”   The Sensible Thing

 “I won’t kiss you. It might get to be a habit and I can’t get rid of habits.”  Head and Shoulders

 “She seemed beautiful to him then; that vague unexciting quality about her was more than compensated for by her exquisite delicacy, the fine luxury of her life.”   A Night at the Fair

“She knew what he wanted, and gave it to him; not words, but a smile of warmth and delight — a smile that said, “I’m yours for the asking; I’m won.” It was not a smile that undervalued herself, because through its beauty it spoke for both of them, expressed all the potential joy that existed between them.”  Emotional Bankruptcy

 “You are the loveliest thing that I have ever known.”  Love in the Night

“She clung nearer desperately and once more he kissed her and was chilled by the innocence of her kiss, by the glance that at the moment of contact looked beyond him out into the darkness of the night, the darkness of the world. She did not know yet that splendor is something in the heart; at the moment when she realized that and melted into the passion of the universe he could take her without question or regret.”
 Tender is the Night

 “His hand took hold of hers, and as she said something low in his ear he turned toward her with a rush of emotion. I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be overdreamed — that voice was a deathless song.”
 The Great Gatsby

 “Their cool cheeks and warm lips met in the crisp darkness, and, watching the icy moon over his shoulder, Annie knew that she was his surely and, pulling his face down, kissed him again, trembling with emotion.”  At Your Age

 “They were young and gravely passionate; they demanded everything and then yielded everything again in ecstasies of unselfishness and pride. She loved the swift tones of his voice and his frantic, if unfounded jealousy. He loved her dark radiance, the white irises of her eyes, the warm, lustrous enthusiasm of her smile.”  The Lees of Happiness

“Love is fragile she was thinking but perhaps the pieces are saved, the things that hovered on lips, that might have been said. The new love words, the tendernesses learned, are treasured up for the next lover.”  May Day

“The things that’ll make you fail I’ll love always— the living in the past, the lazy days and nights you have, and all your carelessness and generosity.”  The Ice Palace

 “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”  The Great Gatsby

“The sudden dawns we laughed to greet,
That all could see, that none could share,
Will be but dawns,and if we meet
We shall not care.”
This Side of Paradise

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

“I don’t think he was ever happy unless someone was in love with him, responding to him like filings to a magnet, helping him to explain himself, promising him something.”
The Rich Boy

“His was a great sin who first invented consciousness. Let us lose it for a few hours.”
The Diamond As Big As The Ritz

“As he held her and tasted her, and as she curved in further and further toward him, with her own lips, new to herself, drowned and engulfed in love, yet solaced and triumphant, he was thankful to have an existence at all, if only as a reflection in her wet eyes.”  Tender is the Night

 “They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”  This Side of Paradise

 “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.” This Side of Paradise

“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, and when I got it it turned to dust in my hand.”  The Beautiful and Damned

“It was a marriage of love. He was sufficiently spoiled to be charming; she was ingenuous enough to be irresistible.” The Lees of Happiness

 “For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.” The Great Gatsby

“It is youth’s felicity as well as its insufficiency that it can never live in the present, but must always be measuring up the day against its own radiantly imagined future flowers and gold, girls and stars, they are only prefigurations and prophecies of that incomparable, unattainable young dream.”  The Diamond As Big As The Ritz

 “So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuningfork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.” The Great Gatsby

“Time was the end of riddles, We were the end of time.”, The Side of Paradise

Zelda to Scott,

 “I don’t want to live  I want to love first, and live incidentally.”  Zelda to Scott, 1919

“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity and her flaming self respect and it’s these things I’d believe in even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all that she should be. But of course the real reason is that I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything. You’re still a Catholic but Zelda’s the only God I have left now.” Scott on Zelda 1920

Sheilah Graham on her first dance with Fitzgerald

 “Now, finally, I danced with Scott, and as we danced, the room and everyone in it faded away. It is hard to put into words how Scott Fitzgerald worked this magic, but he made me feel that to dance with me was the most extraordinary privilege for him. He did it by his words, which seemed directed to me alone; he did it by the way he tilted his head back, a little to one side, as though he were mentally measuring, and then took complete possession of my eyes, my hair, my lips, all with a kind of delighted amazement at his good fortune to be dancing with me.”       Sheilah Graham on her first dance with Fitzgerald 

Ernest Hemingway, from a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald dated 10 May 1934

 “That’s what dries a writer up (we all dry up. That’s no insult to you in person) not listening. That is where it all comes from. Seeing, listening. You see well enough. But you stop listening. Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it—don’t cheat with it.” —  Ernest Hemingway, from a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald dated 10 May 1934

Scott and Zelda

"The things that we have done together and the awful splits that have broken us into war survivals in the past stay like a sort of atmosphere around any house that I inhabit. The good things and the first years together, and the good months that we had two years ago in Montgomery will stay with me forever, and you should feel like I do that they can be renewed, if not in a new spring, then in a new summer. I love you, my darling."
Fitzgerald to Zelda

 “Your photograph is all I have: it is with me from the morning when I wake up with a frantic half dream about you to the last moment when I think of you and of death at night.”  Scott to Zelda, 1930

 “I don’t suppose I really know you very well  but I know you smell like the delicious damp grass that grows near old walls and that your hands are beautiful opening out of your sleeves and that the back of your head is a mossy sheltered cave when there is trouble in the wind and that my cheek just fits the depression in your shoulder.”        Zelda to Scott, 1931

Oh, there’s a bunch of them. But two that come to mind are these:
"You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known and even that is an understatement.” (from a letter Scott wrote to Zelda)

“My God, I am a forgotten man.”  Scott to Zelda in 1940 after The Great Gatsby had been taken out of the Modern Library

 “I must love you a lot for you have quite a power to lift me up and cast me down.” —  Scott Fitzgerald to his daughter Scottie, 1939

“Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

“My dear, I think of you always and at night I build myself a warm nest of things I remember and float in your sweetness till morning.”              Zelda to Scott, 1931

 “Life is horrible without you because there is not another living soul with whom I have the slightest communion.” —      Zelda to Scott, 1931

 “Dearest: I am always grateful for all the loyalties you gave me, and I am always loyal to the concepts that held us together so long: the belief that life is tragic, that a man’s spiritual reward is the keeping of his faith: that we shouldn’t hurt each other. And I love, always your fine writing talent, your tolerance and generosity; and all your happy endowments. Nothing could have survived our life.”          Zelda to Scott Fitzgerald, c. 1939

“Old death is so beautiful so very beautiful we will die together, I know. Sweetheart…”   Zelda to Scott, 1919

“Thanks again for saving me. Someday, I’ll save you too…” —          Zelda to Scott, 1940

“All these soft, warm nights going to waste when I ought to be lying in your arms under the moon the dearest arms in all the world darling arms that I love so to feel around me How much longer before they’ll be here to stay? When I do get home again, you’ll certainly have a most awful time ever moving me one inch from you.” —             Zelda to Scott, 1919

“You are all I care about on earth: the past discredited and disowned, the future has doubled up on the present, give me the peace of my one certitude that I love you.” —  Zelda to Scott, 1931

“I look down the tracks and see you coming and out of every haze and mist your darling rumpled trousers are hurrying to me without you, dearest dearest I couldn’t see or hear or feel or think or live I love you so and I’m never in all our lives going to let us be apart another night.” —       Zelda to Scott, 1920

F Scott Fitzgerald stories published uncensored for the first time

Sexual innuendo, drug references and antisemitic slurs removed by newspaper editors restored in new edition of Taps at Reveille

From sexual innuendo to antisemitism, a wealth of censored material that was sliced out of F Scott Fitzgerald's short stories by newspaper editors is being restored in a new edition of the author's work which presents the stories in their unbowdlerised form for the first time in almost 80 years.
The stories in his fourth collection, Taps at Reveille, were written by Fitzgerald for publication in the Saturday Evening Post during the late 1920s and early 1930s – a time of debt and personal difficulty for the author, who would die in 1940 at the age of 44. Close study of the final, messy typescripts, complete with handwritten revisions, that Fitzgerald sent to his literary agent Harold Ober show significant differences between what The Great Gatsby author intended to be published, and what the Post – keen not to offend its middle-class readership – actually released, with any sexual innuendo eliminated, almost all profanity cut out, as well as any passages touching on racial or ethnic prejudice, drunkenness or reference to drug-taking.
In the original story Two Wrongs, for example, the unpleasant protagonist Bill describes someone as a "dirty little kyke", an insult which is cut from the published edition. Another scene in the story shows Bill's wife getting undressed and having a bath after ballet practice, with the scene changed in its published version to see her fully clothed before her bath. In The Hotel Child, a reference to the Marquis Kinkallow "surreptitiously feeding a hasheesh tablet to the Pekingese" was also removed from the Post's version, with other cuts including removal of profanities such as "Get the hell out of here!" and slang ("broads" for "girls"), and changing the slur "Sheeny" to "Jewess".
The new edition of Taps at Reveille, the latest volume of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F Scott Fitzgerald, restores Fitzgerald's original prose in these and other stories, and is published this week by Cambridge University Press. "Major" changes have also been made to the story seen by many to be Fitzgerald's masterpiece in the genre, Babylon Revisited, said CUP. General editor James West, Sparks Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, believes the edition is important "because we want to read what Fitzgerald wrote, not what the editors at the Post thought he should have written".
"Before these stories were bowdlerised, they contained antisemitic slurs, sexual innuendo, instances of drug use and drunkenness. They also contained profanity and mild blasphemy. The texts were scrubbed clean at the Post," he said.
"Two Wrongs", according to West, "now makes much more sense", with Bill "punished more justly for his wrongdoings – his antisemitism and his reprehensible treatment of his wife". And in The Hotel Child, West says that "the decadence of several of the characters is revealed more clearly because of their alcoholism, drug use, and prejudice".
"More generally, in all of the stories, the characters use the profanity, mild blasphemies, and slang words that Fitzgerald wanted them to use. They speak like real people," he said. "One of the commonplaces of Fitzgerald criticism, for decades, has been that he avoided unpleasant topics and realistic language in his magazine fiction. We can see now that this was not altogether his choice."
West was clear that the new versions of the stories do not expose Fitzgerald as an antisemite: "the antisemitic slurs in these stories are spoken by reprehensible characters. These slurs are not spoken in Fitzgerald's authorial voice. It's the characters who are antisemitic, not Fitzgerald," he said.
Fitzgerald found the medium of the short story difficult, writing in his Notebooks that "the price was high, right up with Kipling, because there was one little drop of something not blood, not a tear, not my seed, but me more intimately than these, in every story", and telling Ober that "all my stories are conceived like novels, require a special emotion, a special experience".
He wrote 178 short stories in his lifetime, selling them for up to $4,000 to the Post and other magazines to support his family. "No purpose is served by criticising the Post for adjusting Fitzgerald's texts," writes West in his introduction to the new volume. "These were the rules of the marketplace: Fitzgerald, as a professional author, accepted them. The Post aimed for a broad middle-class readership and avoided potential offence to readers or advertisers. As Fitzgerald composed and revised, he included language or situations in his stories that he surely knew might be softened or deleted with the blue pencil."
Sarah Churchwell, professor of American literature at the University of East Anglia and author of the biographical study of The Great Gatsby, Careless People, welcomed publication of the new edition. "This is the version which Fitzgerald wanted to see the light of day, and it's really great news," she said.
She predicted that the changes would reveal Fitzgerald in a new light. "It will change how people think about Fitzgerald, particularly in his short fiction. He is seen as a very sentimental writer – even in his novels people think his greatest fault is when he crosses the line into sentimentality or romance and becomes less realistic," she said. "This shows that this was often not his choice."
The original editions of the stories, she said, "will give people the sense that Fitzgerald is actually a bit edgier, particularly in his later stories; that there is more grit in these tales than people think."
Taps at Reveille was Fitzgerald's fourth and final collection of short stories, and his last published book, released in 1935. "It's a short story shadow version of Tender is the Night," said Churchwell. "It's an important collection of Fitzgerald's fiction, and only one or two stories in it are very well-known. Hopefully this new edition will bring people back to Fitzgerald."