F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Guide to the Good Life


Saturday will mark F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 115th birthday, and what better way to celebrate his work than with a whole boatload of quotes? The Jazz Age author died 71 years ago, but his words still resonate as we experience a similar shift from the Roaring Nineties to that of the disappointing aughts, where money is tight and an economic crisis is looming. So what can we do but celebrate what we have while we still have it? It’s the Fitzgeraldian approach to life, you know. So grab some friends, grab even more drinks, and paint the town red this weekend. And read some of the quotes below to find out why Fitzgerald still matters.

1. “Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.” – The Crack Up

2. “I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” The Great Gatsby

3. “I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.” – This Side of Paradise

4. “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” – quoted in Beloved Infidel

5. “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

6. “I like people and I like them to like me, but I wear my heart where God put it, on the inside.” – The Love of the Last Tycoon

7. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” – The Great Gatsby

8. “Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.” – The Beautiful and Damned

10. “I’ll be different, but somewhere lost inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight.” – Magnetism

11. “New friends can often have a better time together than old friends.” – Tender Is the Night

12. “I want to give a really BAD party. I mean it. I want to give a party where there’s a brawl and seductions and people going home with their feelings hurt and women passed out in the cabinet de toilette. You wait and see.” – Tender Is the Night

13. “Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they ate the candy. They don’t. They just want the fun of eating it all over again.” – This Side of Paradise

14. “All life is just a progression toward and then a recession from one phrase– ‘I love you” – The Offshore Pirate

15. “Today it’s my world and everything’s easy. Even Nothing is easy!” – The Beautiful and Damned

16. “While it seemed to him that every debutante spent every hour of her day thinking and talking about what the great world had mapped out for her to do during the next hour, any girl who made a living directly on her prettiness interested him enormously.” – The Beautiful and Damned

17. “‘You know, you’re a little complicated after all.’ ‘Oh no,’ she assured him hastily. ‘No, I’m not really — I’m just a — I’m just a whole lot of different simple people.” – Tender Is the Night

18. “Youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.” – “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”

19. “And lastly from that period I remember riding in a taxi one afternoon between very tall buildings under a mauve and rosy sky; I began to bawl because I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again.” – The Crack Up

20. “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 tenderness learned, and treasured up for the next lover.” – May Day

21. “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.” – Tender Is the Night

23. “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”- The Great Gatsby

24. “Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.” The Crack Up

25. “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 one fine morning — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – The Great Gatsby