Monday, June 30, 2008

This Side of Paradise. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
1929 (1948)

Why read it? Novel. The contrast between the superficial college kid whose main interest was flirting with girls as he attends Princeton and world-weary, cynical, regretful, not-yet-thirty-year-old after serving as an officer in France during WWI. The novel is remarkable for its honest and detailed descriptions of the early "Jazz Age," the "Lost Generation." The book established Fitzgerald's reputation.

Some ideas or quotes for discussion:
"Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes." Oscar Wilde.

"I've got an adjective that just fits you--one of his favorite starts--he seldom had a word in mind, but it was a curiosity provoker, and he could always produce something complimentary if he got in a tight corner."

"The chief characteristic of the big man seemed to be a great confidence in himself set off against a tremendous boredom with everything around him."

About Rosalind:
"But all criticism of Rosalind ends in her beauty."

"When I meet a man that doesn't bore me to death after two weeks, perhaps it'll be different."

"You've made me talk about myself.... That's against the rules."

"Men aged forty-five know life and are so adorably tired looking."

"I have to be won over again every time you see me."

"Clever men are usually so homely."

About Amory:
"Probably more than any concrete vice or failing, Amory despised his own personality--he loathed knowing that tomorrow and the thousand days after he would swell pompously at a compliment and sulk at an ill word."

"He began for the first time in his life to have a strong distrust of all generalities and epigrams."

"He found something that he wanted...not to be admired...not to be loved...but to be necessary to people, to be indispensable."

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