The Great Gatsby Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to The Great Gatsby. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. β€˜You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It takes two to make an accident.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind…
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisyβ€”they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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...and for a moment I thought I loved her. But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Do you ever wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Ah," she cried, "you look so cool." Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space. With an effort she glanced down at the table. You always look so cool," she repeated. She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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 - to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther ... And one fine morning ---
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She was feeling the pressure of the world outside and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon?” cried Daisy, β€œand the day after that, and the next thirty years?
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I wish I’d done everything on Earth with you.
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Baz Luhrmann
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And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matterβ€”to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morningβ€”β€” So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked. β€œIt’s full of–” I hesitated. β€œHer voice is full of money,” he said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money–that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Thirty--the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered β€œListen,” a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The rich get richer and the poor get - children.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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A stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened - then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If that was true 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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Human sympathy has its limits.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight - watching over nothing.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Murder your darlings.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I’m thirty,” I said. β€œI’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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All the bright precious things fade so fast, and they don't come back.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was ....
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I love New York on summer afternoons when everyone's away. There's something very sensuous about it - overripe, as if all sorts of funny fruits were going to fall into your hands.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You don't read Gatsby, I said, to learn whether adultery is good or bad but to learn about how complicated issues such as adultery and fidelity and marriage are. A great novel heightens your senses and sensitivity to the complexities of life and of individuals, and prevents you from the self-righteousness that sees morality in fixed formulas about good and evil.
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Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
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I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him. [- Nick Carroway]
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For awhile these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay," said Gatsby. "You always have a green light that burns at the end of your dock." Daisy put her arm through his abruptly but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to him, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted things had diminished by one.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It makes me sad because I've never seen such--such beautiful shirts before.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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For a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They had never been closer in their month of love, nor communicated more profoundly one with another, than when she brushed silent lips against his coat's shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths - so that he could 'come over' some afternoon to a stranger's garden.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die, but I seemed to bear an enchanted life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!" He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They were careless people, Tom and Daisyβ€”they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It's a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don't see or care.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It eluded us then, but that’s no matterβ€”tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morningβ€” So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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In these fast and fickle times, it’s nice to know that there are some things you can always count on: the enduring brilliance of the last page of The Great Gatsby; the near-religious harmonies of the Beach Boys’ β€œCalifornia Girls”; and the lifelong friendship of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
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Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
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He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No--Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twentyβˆ’one that everything afterward savors of antiβˆ’climax.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Empathy lies at the heart of Gatsby, like so many other great novels--the biggest sin is to be blind to others' problems and pains. Not seeing them means denying their existence.
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Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
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The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . And then one fine morningβ€” So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I'm inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
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A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past..
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Breathing dreams like air
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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that voice was a deathless song.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I love her and that's the beginning and end of everything.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The Great Gatsby' [...] was my 'Tom Sawyer' when I was twelve [....]
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J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
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Human sympathy has its limits, and we were contented to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Blessed are the dead that the rain falls on.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Most affectations conceal something eventually, even though they don't in the beginning.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He had seen me several times, and had intended to call on me long before, but a peculiar combination of circumstances had prevented it.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She was incurably dishonest.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They were careless people ... they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . .
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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What do you think of that? It’s stopped raining." I’m glad Jay." Her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty, told only of her unexpected joy.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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We haven’t met for many years, said Daisy, her voice as matter-of-fact as it could ever be. "Five years next November." The automatic quality set us all back at least another minute.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I wouldn't ask too much of her," I ventured. "You can't repeat the past." "Can't repeat the past? he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They're a rotten lot," I shouted, across the lawn. "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead," he suggested. "After that my own rule is to let everything alone.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The Great Gatsby's my favorite book," he says. "F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated it to Zelda." "His wife?" I say. "Yeah. His crazy-ass wife who he had no business loving that much," he says, giving me a loaded look. "You know what their joint epitaph says? It's a quote from the book... Their kid picked it for them." I shake my head. "What's it say?" His eyes close halfway as he recites, "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
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the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The words seemed to bite physically into Gatsby.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to makes such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person I thought it was your secret pride." "I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor." She didn't answer. Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that registered earthquakes ten thousand miles away.
”
”
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He snatched out his hand desperately as if to snatch only a wisp of air, to save a fragment of the spot that she had made lovely for him. But it was all going by too fast now for his burred eyes and he knew that he had lost that part of it, the freshest and the best, forever.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an overwound clock.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was enjoying myself now. I had taken two finger bowls of champagne and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental and profound.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Have a drink Tom and then you won't feel so foolish to yourself.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something-an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man's, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They weren't happy, and neither of them had touched the chicken or the ale---and yet they weren't unhappy either. There was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy about the picture and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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His hand took hold of hers, and as she said something low in his ear he turned toward her with a rush of emotion. I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed β€”that voice was a deathless song.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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one emotion after another crept into her face like objects into a slowly developing picture.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So when the blue smoke of brittle leaves was in the air and the wind blew the wet laundry stiff on the line I decided to come back home.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She laughed with thrilling scorn. "Sophisticated-God, I'm sophisticated!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He's so dumb he doesn't know he's alive.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me, but you can't fool God!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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in the last month or so, i have read the great gatsby and a separate peace. i am starting to see a real trend in the kind of books bill gives me to read. and just like the tape of songs, it is amazing to hold each of them in the palm of my hand. they are all my favorites. all of them.
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Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
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I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I like to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness. At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in othersβ€”poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinnerβ€”young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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We’ll meet you on some corner. I’ll be the man smoking two cigarettes.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others - poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner - young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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all the time something within her was crying for a decision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately β€” and the decision must be made by some force β€” of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality β€” that was close at hand
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Possibly it had occurred to him the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. [...] It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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...'if the girl had been worth having she'd have waited for you'? No, sir, the girl really worth having won't wait for anybody.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Così continuamo a remare, barche contro corrente, risospinti senza posa nel passato.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was too absorbed to be responsive
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf, muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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What are you doing with all these books?" I asked, stepping towards a tall stack on the floor. I ran my fingers down the spines, recognizing a few familiar titles from School: Heart of Darkness, The Great Gatsby, and To the Lighthouse. Caleb came beside me, his warm shoulder brushing against mine. "I do this funny thing sometimes," she said, shooting me a mischievous grin. "I open a book, and I look at each page. It's called reading
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Anna Carey (Eve (Eve, #1))
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When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. That's my middle-west - not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all--Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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This is a valley of ashes--a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It was testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there were whispers about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I noticed that she wore her evening dress, all her dresses, like sports clothes-there was a jauntiness about her movements as if she had first learned to walk upon a golf course on clean, crisp, mornings.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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As for Tom, the fact that he "had some woman in New York" was really less surprising than that he had been depressed by a book. Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was rather literary in collegeβ€”one year I wrote a series of very solemn and obvious editorials for the 'Yale News.'β€”and now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the 'well-rounded man.' This isn’t just an epigramβ€”life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Well, there I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn't care.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They're such beautiful shirts,' she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. 'It makes me sad because I've never seen such - such beautiful shirts before.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption - and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-by.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I couldn't forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I’ve heard it said that Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He had reached an age where death no longer has the quality of ghastly surprise
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
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but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, β€œjust remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Then wear the golden hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry, `Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!
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Thomas Parke D'Invilliers
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I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the treesβ€”he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder. His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete. Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of somethingβ€”an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man’s, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound, and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She wouldn't let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her and squeezed it up in a wet ball, and only let me leave it in the soap dish when she saw that it was coming to pieces like snow.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
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Some read to remember the home they had left behind, others to forget the hell that surrounded them. Books uplifted their weary souls and energized their minds…books had the power to sooth an aching heart, renew hope for the future, and provide a respite when there was no other escape.
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Molly Guptill Manning
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The track curved and now it was going away from the sun, which as it sank lower, seemed to spread itself in benediction over the vanishing city where she had drawn her breath. He stretched out his hand desperately as if to snatch only a wisp of air, to save a fragment of the spot that she had made lovely for him. But it was all going by too fast now for his blurred eyes and he knew that he had lost that part of it, the freshest and the best, forever.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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A good novel is one that shows the complexity of individuals, and creates enough space for all these characters to have a voice; in this way a novel is called democratic - not that it advocates democracy but that by nature it is so. Empathy lies at the heart of Gatsby, like so many other great novels - the biggest sin is to be blind to others' problems and pains. Not seeing them means denying their existence.
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Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
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What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon,' cried Daisy, 'and the day after that, and the next thirty years?' 'Don't be morbid,' Jordan said. 'Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.' 'But it's so hot,' insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, 'And everything's so confused. Let's all go to town!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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When I had finished the book I knew that no matter what Scott did, nor how he behaved, I must know it was like a sickness and be of any help I could to him and try to be a good friend. He had many good, good friends, more than anyone I knew. But I enlisted as one more, whether I could be of any use to him or not. If he could write a book as fine as The Great Gatsby I was sure that he could write an even better one. I did not know Zelda yet, and so I did not know the terrible odds that were against him. But we were to find them out soon enough.
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Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
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The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alivewith chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I'm inclined to reserve all judgement, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes--a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You're a rotten driver,' I protested. 'Either you ought to be more careful or you oughtn't to drive at all.' 'I am careful.' 'No, you're not.' 'Well, other people are,' she said lightly. 'What's that got to do with it?' 'They'll keep out of my way,' she insisted. 'It takes two to make an accident.' 'Suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself.' 'I hope I never will,' she answered. 'I hate careless people. That's why I like you.' Her grey, sun-strained eyes stared straight ahead, but she had deliberately shifted our relations, and for a moment I thought I loved her.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I can't describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her, old sport. I even hoped for a while that she'd throw me over, but she didn't, because she was in love with me too. She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her. . . . Well, there I was, 'way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn't care. What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?" On the last afternoon before he went abroad, he sat with Daisy in his arms for a long, silent time. It was a cold fall day, with fire in the room and her cheeks flushed. Now and then she moved and he changed his arm a little, and once he kissed her dark shining hair. The afternoon had made them tranquil for a while, as if to give them a deep memory for the long parting the next day promised. They had never been closer in their month of love, nor communicated more profoundly one with another, than when she brushed silent lips against his coat's shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Through this twilight universe Daisy began to move again with the season; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men, and drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads and chiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floor beside her bed.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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...What gets me about D.B., though, he hated the war so much, and yet he got me to read this book A Farewell to Arms last summer. He said it was so terrific. That's what I can't understand. It had this guy in it named Lieutenant Henry that was supposed to be a nice guy and all. I don't see how D.B. could hate the Army and war and all so much and still like a phony like that. I mean, for instance, I don't see how he could like a phony like that and still like that one by Ring Lardner, or that other one he's so crazy about, The Great Gatsby. D.B. got sore when I said that, and said I was too young and all to appreciate it, but I don't think so. I told him I liked Ring Lardner and The Great Gatsby and all. I did, too. I was crazy about The Great Gatsby. Old Gatsby. Old sport. That killed me.
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J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
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Who is he anyhow, an actor?" "No." "A dentist?" "...No, he's a gambler." Gatsby hesitated, then added cooly: "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919." "Fixed the World Series?" I repeated. The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as something that merely happened, the end of an inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people--with the singlemindedness of a burglar blowing a safe. "How did he happen to do that?" I asked after a minute. "He just saw the opportunity." "Why isn't he in jail?" "They can't get him, old sport. He's a smart man.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Why do writers use symbolism?” Okay, so let’s say you have a headache and you wanna tell someone about it and you say, β€œI have a headache!” and other people are like, β€œYeah, whatever. Everybody gets headaches.” But your headache is not a regular headache, it’s a serious headache, so you say, β€œMy brain is on fire!” to try to help these people understand that this is a headache that needs attention! That’s a metaphor, right? And you use it so that you can be understood. Now let’s say you want to take those same imagistic principles but apply them to a much more complex idea than having a headache, like, for instance, the yearning that one feels for one’s dreams. And you can see the dream but you can’t cross the bay to get to the green light that embodies your dream. And you want to talk about how socio-economic class in America is a barrier – a bay-like barrier, some would say – that stands between you and the green light and makes that gap unbridgeable. Now, you can just talk about that stuff directly, but when you talk about it symbolically, it becomes more powerful, because instead of being abstract it becomes kind of observable…. So I think that’s why.
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John Green
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Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes β€” a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. 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 β€” to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… . And one fine morning β€”β€” So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)