There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
To write it, it took three months; to conceive it three minutes; to collect the data in it all my life.
The easiest way to get a reputation is to go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter.
Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle.
Though the Jazz Age continued it became less and less an affair of youth. The sequel was like a children's party taken over by the elders.
Great art is the contempt of a great man for small art.
You can stroke people with words.
It's not a slam at you when people are rude, it's a slam at the people they've met before.
Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues.
Switzerland is a country where very few things begin, but many things end.
Riches have never fascinated me, unless combined with the greatest charm or distinction.
No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.
What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon? And the day after that, and the next thirty years?
Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.
You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.
In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.
Genius goes around the world in its youth incessantly apologizing for having large feet. What wonder that later in life it should be inclined to raise those feet too swiftly to fools and bores.
The compensation of a very early success is a conviction that life is a romantic matter. In the best sense one stays young.
Some men have a necessity to be mean, as if they were exercising a faculty which they had to partially neglect since early childhood.
The idea that to make a man work you've got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We've done that for so long that we've forgotten there's any other way.
Trouble has no necessary connection with discouragement. Discouragement has a germ of its own, as different from trouble as arthritis is different from a stiff joint.
It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.
I'm a romantic; a sentimental person thinks things will last, a romantic person hopes against hope that they won't.
Action is character.
When people are taken out of their depths they lose their heads, no matter how charming a bluff they may put up.
No decent career was ever founded on a public.
Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.
The faces of most American women over thirty are relief maps of petulant and bewildered unhappiness.
All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
Scratch a Yale man with both hands and you'll be lucky to find a coast-guard. Usually you find nothing at all.
Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known.
Nothing is as obnoxious as other people's luck.
Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy.
It is in the thirties that we want friends. In the forties we know they won't save us any more than love did.
Only remember west of the Mississippi it's a little more look, see, act. A little less rationalize, comment, talk.
Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures.
My idea is always to reach my generation. The wise writer writes for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.
At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.
It is sadder to find the past again and find it inadequate to the present than it is to have it elude you and remain forever a harmonious conception of memory.
His was a great sin who first invented consciousness. Let us lose it for a few hours.
Her body calculated to a millimeter to suggest a bud yet guarantee a flower.
To a profound pessimist about life, being in danger is not depressing.
After all, life hasn't much to offer except youth, and I suppose for older people, the love of youth in others.
For awhile after you quit Keats all other poetry seems to be only whistling or humming.
I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.
Everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.
A great social success is a pretty girl who plays her cards as carefully as if she were plain.
There are no second acts in American lives.
No such thing as a man willing to be honest - that would be like a blind man willing to see.
The world, as a rule, does not live on beaches and in country clubs.