Friday, September 24, 2004

Joyeux Anniversaire F. Scott Fitzgerald

On this day in 1896, Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born.

My first exposure to Fitzgerald was reading The Great Gatsby in a jr. high literature class. I was hooked. I went on to read all his other works (my favorite being The Beautiful and the Damned) and then on to all the other members of "the lost generation." It was through these writers that I became infatuated with the city of Paris and that infatuation finally led me to move here.

The term "the lost generation" was termed by poet Gertrude Stein to describe a number of expat American "intellectuals, poets, artists and writers who fled to France in the post World War I years," and who were "seeking a bohemian lifestyle... ."
"Full of youthful idealism, these individuals sought the meaning of life, drank excessively, had love affairs and created some of the finest American literature to date."

Now that may not sound very conservative, but to me, it's very romantic!

The following are a few of my favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes:
  • "Writers aren't exactly people...they're a whole lot of people trying to be one person."

  • "Either you think, or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you."

  • Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."

  • You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say."

  • 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. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise."