Don’t let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.
Things are sweeter when they’re lost. I know—because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly…And when I got it it turned to dust in my hands.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned (Thank you, awritersruminations)
Amory wandered slowly up the avenue and thought of the night as inevitably his— the pageantry and carnival of rich dusk and dim streets…it seemed that he had closed the book of fading harmonies at last and stepped into the sensuous vibrant walks of life. Everywhere these countless lights, this promise of a night of streets and singing— he moved in a half-dream through the crowd as if expecting to meet Rosalind hurrying toward him with eager feet from every corner… .How the unforgettable faces of dusk would blend to her, the myriad footsteps, a thousand overtures, would blend to her footsteps; and there would be more drunkenness than wine in the softness of her eyes on his. Even his dreams now were faint violins drifting like summer sounds upon the summer air.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (Oh man, that cat could write. Thank you, liquidnight)
He must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about…like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (via liquidnight)
Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– 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. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the “impossible,” come true.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (PARABOLA on Facebook)