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From literature to drinking, ten quotes from F Scott Fitzgerald on his birthday

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“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

You’ve probably heard the most famous quote from F Scott Fitzgerald before. The last line of his classic The Great Gatsby can be found reproduced on everything from mugs to calendars to computer screensavers… but it’s not the only quote worth remembering from F Scott Fitzgerald’s work. To mark the anniversary of his birthday on September 24 1896, here are five other F Scott Fitzgerald quotes you should know.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

1. On literature…

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” – Letter to Sheilah Graham

2. On romanticism…

“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

3. On writing…

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

4. And on writers…

“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.” – The Love of the Last Tycoon.

5. On drinking..

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

6. Some more wisdom about alcohol…

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”

7. On judging others…

“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.” – The Great Gatsby

8. On getting older…

“People over forty can seldom be permanently convinced of anything. At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.” – Bernice Bobs Her Hair

9. Another note on writing…

“Great books write themselves, only bad books have to be written.”

10. And finally a more serious note…

“Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure.”

 

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